For three days in Munich earlier this month, the International Exhibition and Conference for Printed Electronics played host to almost every leading player in what many see as a technology with real potential. Called LOPEC, the event showcased this exciting technology which has begun to enable a wide variety of new and innovative applications.
Printed electronics (often referred to as organic electronics, polymer electronics or large area electronics) is based on a combination of a new class of materials and large area, high volume deposition and patterning techniques. Thanks to these new materials and processes, conductive plastics can be printed on paper, textiles and foils at low cost to create extremely thin, flexible and transparent electronic components used in applications across many industries including automotive, energy and pharmaceutical, in areas such as packaging, lighting and displays.
LOPEC 2015, the 7th staging of the event, saw another increase in attendance with more than 2,300 visitors from 42 countries, an increase of round 10% over 2104. The event showcased everything, from research, material manufacturers and production techniques to actual products. These included an OLED-TV, interactive packaging and printed car-seat heaters.
According to Wolfgang Mildner, General Chair, LOPEC, more products than ever before were shown at this year's exhibition: "Besides the automotive industry, smart packaging and wearables were also important topics. The exhibition also featured actual applications such as smart blister packaging and a T-shirt that measures the wearer's heart rate. Wearables is a topic that will be with us well into the future."
More than 50% of the more than 2,300 visitors were from abroad. After Germany, the top five countries were the UK, Japan, the United States, the Netherlands and France, followed by Korea.