Last updateMon, 25 Sep 2023 7pm

Heidelberg presents printed electronics for the automotive industry at the LOPEC trade show

Printed sensors for battery monitoring and RECARO car seats

Innovative applications improve safety, comfort and range of electric vehicles
Sensors are drivers of digitalisation across the industry
High market potential for the future

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is presenting innovative applications for the automotive industry at LOPEC, the leading international trade fair for flexible, organic and printed electronics. Together with Heidelberg's InnovationLab, the company will be presenting printed sensors for battery monitoring and RECARO car seats at the end of March. Heidelberg had already set up its own business unit for the industrial development, manufacture and sale of printed electronics for this growth market and also established production at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site. In the future, electronic components and sensors for digital applications, especially from the healthcare and logistics sectors as well as retail, or the automotive industry, will be produced here using state-of-the-art printing technology.
"The market for printed electronics, especially for sensors, is a future field for Heidelberg," said Rainer Hundsdörfer, CEO of Heidelberg. "With the solutions presented for the automotive industry, we have good opportunities to further expand our business in this segment. We see growth opportunities for us as an operator in the production of high-tech sensors in the two to three-digit million euro range."
Using a car seat developed with RECARO Automotive GmbH, visitors can see how pressure sensor foils can be used to detect occupants and distinguish them from other objects. The information obtained can be used for driver assistance and safety systems, for example reminders to fasten the seat belt and deactivation of the airbag when a child seat is detected. The sensor matrix presented also makes it possible to determine which seat position passengers are occupying. This will be particularly important in (partially) autonomous driving for triggering safety systems, as the driver's position will become significantly more variable.
In addition, an innovative solution for battery monitoring will be presented. Printed, wafer-thin pressure and temperature sensors can record spatially resolved data from individual battery cells, which can be used to extend battery life by up to 40 %. Printed sensor films are so thin that they can fit between individual battery cells and collect detailed pressure and temperature data. This cell-level information provides valuable insights into battery health and performance, helping research and development teams improve their battery designs - including for extending the driving range of electric vehicles.
"With the industrial production of sensor-equipped functional films, Heidelberg is opening up a new playing field for digital business models. Each square metre of the film is equipped with up to one million sensors that register the smallest changes in pressure, temperature or humidity. The data obtained in this way is then processed using AI algorithms and provides information quality that goes beyond discrete measured variables," said Dr Michael Kröger, Managing Director of Heidelberg Printed Electronics GmbH. "In the process, the entire sensor technology is printed in one pass - with all the conductive tracks, sensors and the interface to digital end devices."





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