OE-A at LOPEC: Printed electronics competition bigger than ever


How can printed electronics be useful for monitoring sleeping babies or to support people who lost their leg? And what role can printed electronics components play for the gaming world? The answers to these exciting questions will be given at LOPEC 2022, the international platform for printed electronics, from 22-24 March live at ICM, Messe München.

This year 23 international companies, research institutions and universities take part in the “OE-A Competition 2022” to present their new products, prototypes, and concepts. The submitted projects are judged by a jury of representatives from well-known international companies and institutes in three categories: "Prototypes & New Products"; "Freestyle Demonstrator"; and "Publicly Funded Project Demonstrator". As every year, all submitted products and demonstrators will be presented to the international community at the OE-A booth at LOPEC and online at oe-a.org.

"We are happy that the competition is growing every year since its start. We received more than 20 submissions from 11 countries. It is a great pleasure to see the number of products for automotive and healthcare which are close to market growing year by year," says Dr Klaus Hecker, managing director of the OE-A, an international working group within VDMA.

This year, the expert jury will have to discuss and rate more contributions than ever at the jury meeting in Munich. For a first insight, three examples briefly explained: A sensing artificial leg, submitted by IEE, helps people feel every step and tackles the problem of phantom pain. Market standard prostheses often lack the capability to recreate a sensing of the missing body parts. This prosthesis has a sensing surface facilitated by a sensor foil integrated in a sock that is imposed to the artificial foot. It comes with a readout electronic with wireless transmitter and an actuator for human feedback. It creates a better control of movements and provides feedback which helps those affected to feel the ground and the sense of touch reduces phantom pains.

The Holst Centre has developed an ultrathin, conformable smart sensor mat that can detect a baby’s breathing rate, heart rate and posture. The multi-modal sensing mat consists of a combination of printed piezo-resistive and piezo-electric sensors and can be placed under a bed sheet, enabling long-term monitoring of babies in a hospital bed or at home. The non-intrusive device simply disappears into the object in which it is integrated and a variety of applications not only in healthcare is possible: e.g., when used in a car seat, the mat can monitor posture and driver alertness.

The 3 D gaming device handed in by Nuremberg Tech is portable and the user can play “Tic-Tac-Toe” alone or in pairs. The three-dimensional game is designed on an attractive free-form surface and is fully operated through touch functionality. The demonstrator combines the functionality of printed electronics with standard surface-mount technology components on an initially flat flexible dielectric substrate. The direct integration of touch functionality inside the assembly, opens up wide fields of application, for example, in automotive applications, for white goods or for consumer electronics with a maximum freedom of design.

All visitors are invited to make their choice for the "Public Choice Award" at the OE-A booth at LOPEC (Hall B0, 306), on March 23rd and 24th. “Have a closer look at the broad range of submissions to the OE-A Competition, from concept to product, which illustrates the potential printed electronics offers. And cast your vote to choose which demonstrator deserves the “Public Choice Award,” says Klaus Hecker.

The winners of all categories will be announced on the evening of Wednesday, 23 March during the LOPEC Get-together & Award Show. Additionally, the winner of the "Public Choice Award" as well as the price winners of the other categories will present their demonstrators at a web seminar in April 2022.

LOPEC visitors will get a comprehensive insight into printed electronics applications at the OE-A booth at LOPEC 2022. A visit at the OE-A booth is also worthwhile to learn about the latest edition of the OE-A Roadmap, the results of the new business climate survey and the activities of the numerous international working groups. "We invite you to visit our booth to look at the demonstrators but also to get an update on OE-A’s latest activities and future events," says Klaus Hecker.

Caption: The 3D Electronic Gaming Device from Nuremberg Tech (photo: Nuremberg Tech)

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