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Printed Electronics Coming of Age at IPC APEX EXPO 2012

Feb 07, 2012

Historic Standards Development Meetings, Technical Track and Dedicated Exhibit Area

A key enabling technology that is making a significant impact in consumer, commercial, medical and specialty electronics markets, printed electronics is coming of age at IPC APEX EXPO®, February 28-March 1, 2012, at the San Diego Convention Center. IPC APEX EXPO will feature a dedicated printed electronics area on the show floor, a printed electronics track in the technical conference, and historic standards development meetings where the first-ever industry requirements for the manufacture and assembly of printed electronics will be discussed and developed.

Although the printing of active devices, such as thin film transistors (TFTs) for display backplanes and RFID, has been moving along the technology development curve for the past 10 years and the printing of passive devices, such as membrane switches for a touch control panel on a microwave oven, is more than 25 years old, Dan Gamota, president of Printovate Technologies, Inc., sees 2012 as a “turning point” for the industry.

Printed electronics is a lower-cost technology that provides greater product design freedom,” explains Gamota. “Innovative companies that recognize that fact are integrating printed electronics technologies in a variety of automotive, aerospace, communications, medical, and smart grid applications, to get a jump on their competition"

As the premier event for the electronics manufacturing industries, IPC APEX EXPO presents an ideal venue to showcase the applications and benefits of printed electronics,” says Gamota. “The standards development meetings allow engineers from companies in all areas of printed electronics to contribute to the development of the very first industry guidelines. It’s a truly exciting time for companies in this growing field.”

Last year, IPC established a Printed Electronics Committee (D60) and five subcommittees (D61, D62, D63, D64 and 8-61) to develop standards to facilitate companies to seamlessly integrate printed electronics technologies in future products. These volunteer committees will meet at IPC APEX EXPO on March 1-2 to work on guidelines in printed electronics design, base materials/substrates, base materials, functional materials and final assembly as well as the development of a printed electronics technology roadmap.

In the exhibit hall, companies from around the world will represent all segments of the printed electronics supply chain, from raw materials (conductive inks and coated/laminated films) to equipment manufacturers to manufacturers of functional printed products. Exhibitors include: Carmel Chemicals/Tanaka Holdings Co.; Cemco Ltd.; Coatema Coating Machinery GmbH; Conductive Compounds Inc.; DEK International; Diamond-MT, Inc.; DuPont Electronic Technologies; FLEXCon; Henkel Electronic Materials LLC; Heraeus Materials Technology; Kuroki Industrial Co., Ltd.; Metal Etch Services, Ormet Circuits, Inc.; Sanmina-SCI; Speedline Technologies, Inc.; Taiyo America, Inc.; Vistana and Xenon Corp.

On February 29, the technical conference sessions on printed electronics (S36–S38) include papers highlighting advanced materials, emerging technologies and manufacturing processes - from ink to flexible substrates to roll-to-roll manufacturing. In S36 Printed Electronics, Gamota will discuss the printed electronics standards development initiatives underway in the areas of base materials, additive materials, design and final assembly.

For more information on the printed electronics activities at IPC APEX EXPO, visit www.IPCAPEXEXPO.org/printed-electronics. Registration for the IPC APEX EXPO exhibit hall or to participate in the standards development meetings is free to pre-registrants ($25 and $40 on-site, respectively). Register at www.IPCAPEXEXPO.org/register.


IPC (www.IPC.org) is a global trade association based in Bannockburn, Ill., dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its 3,100 member companies which represent all facets of the electronics industry, including design, printed board manufacturing, electronics assembly and test. As a member-driven organization and leading source for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy, IPC supports programs to meet the needs of an estimated $2.02 trillion global electronics industry. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Arlington, Va.; Stockholm, Sweden; Moscow, Russia; Bangalore, India; and Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing, China.

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