Kit for IoT sensor prototyping using printed electronics

Kit for IoT sensor prototyping using printed electronics

New Products |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

Henkel has launched a novel sensor experience kit tailor-made for IoT engineering across industries. The novel Henkel Qhesive Sensor INKxperience kit offers four different printed electronics technologies that are pre-configured with hardware and software for prototyping and engineering. The kit has been designed for professional engineers and enables them to quickly and efficiently explore and experiment with the technology of printed electronics for the development of IoT sensors.

The broad Loctite portfolio of functional inks allows engineers to print functional electronics circuits on foil, creating flexible circuitry for various applications, including IoT sensors. Together with its ecosystem of partners Henkel enables the development of printed electronics applications tailored for the specific properties demanded by industrial customers. The company´s inks are suitable for a broad variety of sensor technologies including water detection sensors, self-regulating heating, pressure sensing, or printed antennas.

Henkel has developed the INKxperience kit in collaboration with its partners LAIIER® and Quad Industries. To demonstrate the potential and various functionalities of the company´s inks for the development of smart product applications, the kit contains four different technologies: a leak detection sensor, a non-contact liquid level sensor, a positive temperature coefficient (PTC) heater and a single as well as multi zone force sensitive resistor (FSR) sensor which are all reusable multiple times. The printed technologies are pre-configured with hardware and software for immediate and continuous data read-out and offer an easy set-up for the ideation of new ideas and proof concept during prototyping and the engineering process of next generation IoT sensors.

Engineers can use the kit to explore the possibilities printed electronics offers for the development of sensors. The technology is already implemented across a variety of industrial end-application markets, ranging from building construction and building information management and modelling to logistics, transportation, smart home appliances and furniture. The printed sensor technology complements traditional sensor hardware opening-up new opportunities in intelligent surface sensor design. The application of printed surface sensor technologies combined with hardware and software enables a new scope of data collection for remote monitoring, offering benefits in terms of efficiency tracking and, in addition, a sustainable use of resources and improved product lifetime, for example maintaining the structural health of a building.

“Our Sensor INKxperience kit is a response to the ongoing digital transformation which drives the implementation of IoT across industries,” explained Melanie Wendrikat, Market Strategy Manager Printed Electronics at Henkel. “We see a growing demand for sensor integration into surface structures and the printed electronics technology offers a unique form factor and increased flexibility in design of these smart surfaces, retrofitted or integrated. The kit combines different printed sensor technologies with hardware and software and provides engineers a pre-configured, out of the box solution for ideation, technology testing and initial prototyping. Thus, it provides all components needed to directly start experiencing the sensors.”

To ensure that the kit meets the demands and requirements of IoT engineers across markets Henkel has conducted a variety of surveys and user tests beforehand. Among others, the kit has been tested by IOX, a development partner in the field of Internet of Things. IOX offers IoT sensors and platforms as a service or product applications that enable companies to make faster and data-driven decisions to generate more revenue.

“We are pleased to have been selected as a development partner by Henkel for the user tests of the INKxperience Kit,” said Sergey Schaal, responsible for electronics development at IOX GmbH. “The kit makes it very easy to get a feeling for how printed electronics technology works and enables fast proof of concept validating the technology for a new sensor application.”


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