• 148 exhibitors from 18 countries—an increase of 11 percent
• High number of international visitors confirms status as world leading event
• Audi announces series production of OLED tail lights
From April 5 to 7, 2016, LOPEC displayed pioneering and innovative products from the field of printed electronics in Munich, Germany. 148 companies made their way from 18 countries to exhibit at the International Exhibition and Conference for the Printed Electronics Industry. Falk Senger, Managing Director of Messe München, is delighted with the record number of exhibitors: “This year, we have seen our exhibitor numbers increase by over 10 percent. More and more sectors are putting their trust in this key technology and using LOPEC as a platform for presenting their innovations on an international level.”
For the first time, Indian, Spanish, and South Korean companies were among the exhibitors. The international pavilions from France and Japan as well as the high number of exhibitors from the UK and the USA confirmed how important LOPEC is on a global scale. In an independent participant survey conducted by research institute forschungsplus, over 95 percent of people asked rated the international diversity of exhibitors and the full range of products on show as either excellent or good. Furthermore, 65 percent anticipate that LOPEC will continue to grow even further in significance over the next twelve months (compared to 58 percent in 2015).
More than 2,000 visitors from over 40 countries attended LOPEC 2016. The key industry markets were also reflected in the most strongly represented nations in terms of visitors, which, besides Germany, were the UK, the USA and Japan.
Dr. Jeremy Burroughes FRS FREng, Chairman of the OE-A (Organic and Printed Electronics Association) and CTO at Cambridge Display Technology, confirms this positive trend: “The most recent business climate survey conducted by the OE-A has shown that the sector expects an increase in sales revenue of 11 percent for 2016 and predicts that this growth will continue next year. This worldwide upward trend is clearly visible at LOPEC.”
Technology of the future
LOPEC set the stage for the European premiere of Audi's OLED tail lights. Stephan Berlitz, Head of Development, Lighting Functions and Innovations at Audi, summarizes: “Back in 2013, we had the chance to discuss potential solutions with the specialists at LOPEC and now, three years later, our OLED tail lamps are being put into series production.” At this year's event, Audi revealed this latest innovation during its plenary session at the LOPEC Conference as well as displayed the technology at the Innovation Showcase, an exhibition area dedicated to product innovations and prototypes.
Other key industry players—including adidas, Carta Mundi and Schneider Electric—offered fascinating insights into their requirements for printed electronics during their own talks at the LOPEC Conference, while BASF and Sumitomo Chemicals were among the companies presenting their technical innovations. With top-class talks from renowned international researchers, such as Professor Henning Sirringhaus from the University of Cambridge and Professor Jun Takeya from the University of Tokyo, the LOPEC Conference certainly lived up to the high expectations of the visitors from scientific fields. Wolfgang Mildner, General Chair of LOPEC, says: “The high caliber of contributors representing the application, research and development fields serves as further proof that the conference is a truly unparalleled event.” 196 presentations were given by speakers from 27 countries at LOPEC.
Getting to grips with printed electronics
17 companies from the OE-A took part in the LOPEC Demo Line. Packaging featuring integrated electroluminescent surfaces was printed live on the production line. Thomas Kolbusch, LOPEC Exhibition Chair and Vice President of Coatema Coating Machinery, says: “Visitors want to see real-life applications. The countless exhibits and live demonstrations we arrange ensure that everyone has the chance to see printed electronics for themselves at first hand.”
Visitors were also able to get to grips with printed electronics at the Innovation Showcase. The products on display included, among others, innovative flexible lighting panels from LG Display and a band aid that records an ECG, presented by the Holst Centre.
Besides the automotive and consumer electronics industries, wearable technology was also a focal point of this year's event. Printed electronics makes thin, light-weight and flexible applications possible that are ideally suited for smart wearable electronic devices. Examples on show at LOPEC included a fitness shirt that comes with analysis software from Fraunhofer IISB, a smart winter glove from Kjus, a wrist strap featuring a fully flexible display from Polyera and several products from adidas.
Dr. Rüdiger Sprengard, Director of New Business Ultra-Thin Glass at Schott, praises the event: “Schott considers LOPEC a unique platform, bringing together major stakeholders along the entire value chain and inspiring new thinking: This is the place to be to configure the future of our industry.”
The LOPEC Awards were also handed out on the second day of the event. You can find out who the winners were at: www.lopec.com/trade-fair/supporting-program/lopec-award
The next LOPEC event will take place between March 28 and 30, 2017.