The IDTechEx Printed Electronics Europe event made one thing very clear - now, more than ever, end users are actively learning and engaged in developing printed electronics devices. However, the process they go through with the industry is not effective. There is a them and us mentality. End users have big needs and problems that printed electronics can help with, but often they do not know the final concept to work towards, sometimes due in part to their knowledge of the capability of the industry. Suppliers are keen to offer up their components to end users but do not know the solutions needed. Then there is the much discussed lack of integrators for those that do want to proceed. IDTechEx feels that a better, closer user-supplier innovation path is needed. Concepts need to be value aligned rather than cost aligned.
Some of the end users discussing their progress included Hasbro, Abbott Diagnostics, Boeing, Oxylane and Electrolux. Most work is being done within the research/innovation centres in these organisations. They reported that initial sample spend may be typically a few tens of thousands of dollars, with $100K+ for custom prototypes. Boeing estimates that they have spent several million dollars rolling out printed electronics for its bird strike detection system. Oxylane developed a new product around printed electronics, but when it came to the product launch printed electronics was replaced with conventional electronics, mainly due to manufacturing availability for printed electronics. Things are moving forward.
Raghu Das, CEO of IDTechEx, presented new research conducted by the company. In 2014, IDTechEx see the market size as follows. This shows the different levels of maturity, revenue and success across the wide variety of options that make up printed, flexible and organic electronics.
To learn more attend Printed Electronics USA 2014.