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LOPEC 2017: printed electronics for the car of tomorrow



Curved displays in the dashboard or OLEDs in vehicle lighting: this year, the automotive industry will be one of the focal points of LOPEC, the international exhibition and conference for printed electronics. It will be taking place in Munich from 28 to 30 March 2017.

 - LOPEC Demo Line
© Messe München
LOPEC Demo Line

In the self-driving car of the future, the interior is set to become a personal place of retreat, with design and function to undergo a full transformation. After all, if drivers no longer have to concentrate on the road so much, they will be looking for entertainment, relaxation, or even opportunities to turn their cars into mobile offices.

Printing methods for mass production

LOPEC 2017 will be showcasing previously unimaginable opportunities that printed electronics has to offer when it comes to redesigning car interiors. “Printed electronic components will play a key role in the future of automotive manufacturing because they are lightweight and flexible. Plus, printing methods are ideal for mass production”, explains Dr. Klaus Hecker, Managing Director of the OE-A (Organic and Printed Electronics Association), who is working together with Messe München to organize LOPEC.
The “Automotive and Aerospace” session at the LOPEC Conference focuses on the topic of printed electronics within the automotive industry. Examples of applications, including flexible sensors for car seats as well as innovative displays and lighting concepts, will also feature in other conference modules on the program.

Adjustable OLEDs suit car passengers' mood

We will hear all about the latest developments in the field of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) during specialist presentations from automotive part suppliers and the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP. Already found in taillights, these planar light sources are set to light vehicle interiors nicely in future too, with passengers able to set the brightness and color of the OLEDs to suit their mood.

Printed touchscreens

While printed touchscreens are another existing feature found in vehicles, at LOPEC a manufacturer will be revealing systems that respond to gestures as well as touch. Printed onto transparent film, these components can be incorporated into curved surfaces. Creating the perfect combination of functionality and design is also the main priority of a Finnish company. They will be heading to Munich to present their patented injection molding method, which is used to integrate electronic components into plastic products.

Solutions for end user industries

“LOPEC is not just aimed at the specialists, but also very much at end user industries,” highlights Falk Senger, Managing Director of Messe München. Introductory talks are to be held on 29 and 30 March to help representatives of the automotive industry take their first successful steps into the world of printed electronics. These will be followed by industry-specific guided tours of the exhibition. Plus, a round-table discussion is scheduled for the LOPEC Forum, where industry experts will discuss the potential of printed electronics within vehicle manufacturing.