Main printed electronics fair in Europe awards prize to Eurecat technology

  • Concept of printed keyboards developed by Eurecat and Novacentrix wins best free design and public awards at the LOPEC fair in Munich

  • Technology developed by Eurecat in Mataró reduces manufacturing costs by 30%

Barcelona, 31 March 2017 – A flexible keyboard for illumination made of printed electronics and developed by Novacentrix and the Eurecat technology centre (a member of Tecnio) won the public and best design awards at the LOPEC fair in Munich, the main European event in the printed electronics sector with over 2,500 participants from 47 different countries.

More specifically, the jury acknowledged the demonstration of the “Thin-film Full Printed PAD”, developed at the Eurecat premises in Mataró, as the best proposal in the Free Demonstration category, from among various different international entries. The command, printed on plastic with flexible electronics, is less than one millimetre thick, and shows the capacities and potential of printed electronics. Paul Lacharmoise, director of the Eurecat Functional Printing & Embedded Devices Unit, received the awards.

This technology enables the printing or stamping of flexible circuits on just about any kind of surface, much thinner than traditional circuits. It is based on the printing of electronic devices and components by means of conventional printing techniques such as silk-screen or digital, with ink similar in the latter case to that used in home printers.

Cristina Casellas, the technology promoter of the Eurecat Functional Printing & Embedded Devices Unit, says that this technique enables the “broadening of the electronic product range” with a “very low production cost”. Casellas pointed out that printed and functional electronics “has managed to reduce manufacturing costs by 30%” thanks to “flexible, easy-to-include and personalized” electronics, which can be used in a great amount of products, such as wearables, smart labelling, clothes, household furniture and vehicle upholstery.

As Casellas said, Functional Printing enables the manufacturing of “sportswear with movement sensors”, tables and chairs with “integrated domotics control” and “backpacks with indicators” to improve safety for cyclists, among other applications. The researcher explained that flexible electronics “can eliminate remote commands and reduce the size of what are now six-millimetre buttons to less than half a millimetre”. “We are currently integrating sensorics in objects that do not have it as of today, and this could revolutionize numerous industries”, she concluded.

In addition to this demonstration, Eurecat-CTM also took the Optintegral project to Munich, involving the development of new hybrid processes for the production of LED monitors. The project combines electronic and functional printing and inorganic LEDs to achieve innovative monitors with greater energy efficiency. The project, coordinated by Eurecat-CTM, enables the implantation of high energy efficiency technology at a low cost, and forms part of the Horizon 2020 programme, with financing from the European Commission for the development of sustainable energy.