DR NORMAN MECHAU
CEO peptech GmbH
peptech GmbH was founded in 2016 by Dr Norman Mechau as a technology company dedicated to the development and manufacture of sensor systems based on printed, flexible and stretchable electronics. The name peptech is derived from ‘Printed Electronic Process technology’.
The company has in-depth expertise in the fields of basic research, materials development, nanotechnology, process engineering, systems integration, electronics and software integration. The aim is to carry this expert knowledge across into manufacturing.
Based in Kernen im Remstal near Stuttgart, peptech GmbH is surrounded by many innovative small and medium-sized companies operating in the field of electronics production and sensor development, which has proved invaluable in enabling the peptech team to effectively implement and further develop their expertise within the immediate vicinity.
The full title of peptech manager Philipp Weller’s Master’s thesis (completed 2020) is ‘Development of a business model based on the Canvas principle for a young technology start-up. Application of the Design Thinking method to stretchable, flexible electronics’ .
DR NORMAN MECHAU
CEO peptech GmbH
Master’s graduate peptech GmbH
Medical technology is just one example of a field in which flexible and elastic electronics can be successfully employed. Applications range from monitoring body temperature and respiratory rate to use in electrocardiography (ECG), electroencephalography (EEG) or measuring oxygen saturation in arterial blood. Such materials when used in smart medical patches are suitable for measuring, monitoring and transmitting heart rate data to wirelessly connected devices.
The advantage of printed sensors is that they are less bulky and also relatively easy to integrate, thus offering superior wearing comfort. The low manufacturing costs of printed electronics is also a key factor, as is the trend towards medical sensors being used only once or for a single patient. Printing processes reduce costs significantly. However, there is still a need for further development in the automated mass production of printed electronic components. Disposable sensors are more hygienic and can perform therapeutic functions. Printed electronic patches worn on the body contain sensors, displays, solar cells and rechargeable batteries.
In the automotive industry, printed electronics offer great scope for new applications. Vehicle manufacturing is a strong driver in the development of innovative applications for printed and flexible electronics. Because printed electronic components are thinner and less heavy than conventional components, they save space and help reduce weight and fuel consumption. And yet there are still buttons and knobs in the car interior that have not yet given way to the advance of the touch display and touch sensor. The car of the future will be bristling with electronics, from entertainment systems for the driver to sensors for monitoring the vehicle’s surroundings. There is always a strong demand for innovation and the technology to implement it.
Printed electronics make many types of flexible electronic products possible. The basis of these products consists of a combination of different devices, the components of which can be classified as ‘passive’ or ‘active’. These devices are based on single or multi-layer construction and require a more or less high-resolution printing process.
Examples of passive components: Strip conductors used as…
electrical connecting strips (including bridge structures)
sensors (e.g. capacitive or resistive sensors)
heating elements (e.g. transparent heating foils)