Flexible electronics for cars, wearables, smart homes and more – OE-A presents the future at LOPEC 2019


Participants of the “OE-A Competition 2019” show the many possibilities of organic and printed electronics with creative new ideas, prototypes, and fresh designs. The competition taking place for the ninth year in a row is organised by OE-A for its members from all sectors of organic and printed electronics. Numerous international companies, research institutes and universities participate in this annual competition to present their products, prototypes and concepts. Prizes will be awarded for the best submission in each of the four categories – “Products & New Prototypes”, “Freestyle Demonstrator” and “Publicly Funded Project Demonstrator” – at LOPEC 2019 in Munich, Germany.

Once again, prototypes and products from the packaging, wearables, smart buildings and consumer electronics sectors will be displayed. A total of 19 submissions from 12 countries will be showcased at the OE-A booth (Messe München, hall B0, booth 216) during LOPEC 2019.

For example, a hybrid electronic battery connection for controlling battery cells in electric cars from OE-A member IEE will be presented, which measures the local cell temperature to optimise the battery cycle. Today's electric vehicles use lithium-based battery modules for power storage, requiring a complex battery management system to monitor cell capacity and temperatures in order to extend cell life. The printed elements used reduce wiring and integration, with the resulting optimised use of space being a critical factor in automotive assembly. It is also key for battery designers, as ever more technology needs to be integrated into limited space.

There are exciting developments in healthcare as well, such as an energy-autonomous blood glucose meter from OE-A member IMB-CNM-CSIC. This lab-on-a-chip system is a disposable test strip for the diagnosis of gestational diabetes. The device consists of a paper-based sensor and fuel cell along with a series of printed electronic components. An electrofluidic timer electrically connects these components to the sensor / fuel cell at any given time. The test strip distinguishes between normal, prediabetes and diabetes. The blood sample introduced into the system is both analyte and electrolyte and is the only energy source that supplies the electronics and display with the result.

There will also be examples of interesting lighting concepts for future forms of mobility and smart buildings. One such concept is the transparent, bendable OLED light “ColorLoop” from OE-A members EMDE, VTT and Fraunhofer FEP, which not only stands out due to its energy efficiency and homogeneous light, but also because of its flexible glass.

This year, attendees can once again cast their votes and choose which demonstrator deserves the “Public Choice Award”. Voters also have the chance to win something: The “Papier Machine” – a book containing a collection DIY interactive electronic paper toys that will help you unveil the mysteries of printed electronics – developed by Marion Pinaffo, Raphaël Pluvinage and Panoplie, will be raffled off.

The winner of the OE-A Competition 2019 will be announced on the evening of Wednesday, 20 March, during the LOPEC Dinner & Award Show. “Each year we see how the submissions evolve and become more challenging; more and more of them are close to or already in production. This is a clear sign that printed electronics have established themselves as an important technological component in various industries,” says Dr Klaus Hecker, managing director of OE-A, a working group within VDMA.

Caption: ColorLoop – transparent, bendable OLED light (photo: EMDE)

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