© scanrail dreamstime.com Analysis | September 03, 2015
Thin, flexible batteries set to become a $400 million market in 2025
Batteries have not been a triumph of rapid innovation -from lead acid, nickel-cadmium, to nickel-metal-hydride and lithium-ion batteries, the development of batteries has significantly lagged many other components.
For example, lithium-ion batteries, which are the mostly successful commercial battery system nowadays, have only seen a 1.6 times improvement in energy density over the last 24 years. Not exactly a follower of Moore’s law like progress. It is already very optimistic to expect the energy density of lithium-ion battery to increase another 30% in five years time. Materials that can be chosen for the battery development are also limited. Companies see the challenge – and opportunity. One significant development has been flexible battery technologies. However, even though thin, flexible batteries have been available for over fifteen years they have had limited commercial success. That is not really a surprise: they have been more expensive, offer lower capacity and have a shorter shelf life than regular button cell or larger batteries. As a result, they have tried to exploit their thinness and flexibility as a way to differentiate – doing something that regular batteries cannot do. Successes have been found in a small number of niche applications, such as powered skin patches, where the battery provides a voltage across an area of skin, opening the pores and allowing the anti-wrinkle cosmetic on the patch to be absorbed about ten times more quickly versus non-powered patches, an effect known as iontophoresis. For a patch applied to a face, that product is only possible with an unobtrusive thin and flexible battery. It created a new product category and price point – here the flexible battery was not a value sell proposition but an enabling sell. However, despite a few pockets of success companies have been largely struggling to gain big commercial traction – new product categories need to be created rather than using these as a replacement versus the cheaper, higher performing incumbents. Apple, Samsung, LG Chem Move into the Flexible Battery Business Now the world’s largest consumer electronics companies such as Apple, LG and Samsung have moved into the development of flexible battery technology and that’s due in a large part to the wearable technology market, which will help drive the flexible battery market from USD 6.9 million in 2015 to over USD 400 million in 2025, according to IDTechEx Research. Wearable electronics and IoT devices will increasingly require battery attributes such as thinness, flexibility, light weight and low charging thresholds to not just differentiate, but create new markets. Indeed, they already have – the powered cosmetic skin patch from Estee Lauder using a printed battery must have some claim to being one of the earliest successes of flexible wearable electronics. Investment in flexible batteries is but one of the key areas of progress for truly wearable electronics. The first approach has been to reduce the energy consumption of electronics, such as the CPU and displays, in addition to making larger components, such as displays, flexible. Another direction is the charging method, such as integrating energy harvesting, rapid charging and wireless charging. Now huge emerging topics such as wearable technology and IoT require some different parameters for the battery, such as ultra-thinness, small physical footprints, flexibility and light weight which are becoming increasingly prized. While there is still progress to be made in both the performance of the battery technology and scaling up manufacturing, new products are appearing at a fast rate. In April this year Qualcomm unveiled a new product concept at the IDTechEx Printed Electronics Europe event in conjunction with printed battery provider Enfucell. This is a sensing label for golfers – stick the label on your golf club and play your game, with the label providing data via an app on your phone telling you information such as speed, angle and tempo of each swing. The electronics and battery form a single monolithic device. In another example printed battery provider Blue Spark Technologies have launched a smart band-aid known as TempTraq (pictured), which reports your sick child’s temperature to your cellphone via a flexible band-aid powered by a flexible battery powering a low energy bluetooth circuit and sensor.
IPC: Unanimous approval of USMCA needed IPC issued a statement this week expressing support of the recently bi-partisan approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), and a strong desire for legislative approval by Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.
Nordson's CFO to retire in 2020 after 30 years with the company Nordson's Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Gregory A. Thaxton, plans to retire in 2020 after thirty successful years with the company, with the last 12 years as CFO.
KUKA restructures subdivision due to economic uncertainty KUKA is restructuring a subdivision in the Robotics segment that is responsible for automated manufacturing solutions such as cells and special machines.
PCB industry recovers slightly in Q3 PCB manufacturers in the D/A/CH region were able to increase sales sequentially in the third quarter of 2019 by 1.1%. However, sales figures are 11% lower than those recorded for the third quarter of 2018, reports the industry association ZVEI PCB and Electronic Systems.
Garz & Fricke moves into new HQ in Hamburg-Harburg Garz & Fricke GmbH continues to expand. As of late October, the business operations of the HMI and Panel PC specialist will be transferring to the new headquarters in in Hamburg-Harburg.
TF Massif Technologies taps new CEO British Columbia-based TF Massif Technologies has announced the appointment of Tom Peregoodoff as the company’s new chief executive officer.
DoJ: Google, Fitbit deal under review The U.S. Justice Department is looking into anti-trust issues concerning Google's bid to buy Fitbit Inc.
L3Harris Tech secures U.S. Marine Corps order L3Harris Technologies received a USD 50 million follow-on delivery order for Falcon III AN/PRC-160 HF radios and related equipment from the U.S. Marine Corps .
Metair completes Romanian lithium-Ion battery cell factory South African energy storage company, Metair Investments, says that its Romanian units Prime Batteries and Rombat have completed the installation of the group's first Lithium-Ion battery cell manufacturing and assembly facility in Bucharest, Romania.
£5m award marks ‘topping out’ of Cardiff research powerhouse An GBP 80 million Cardiff University powerhouse for Welsh scientific research has been ‘topped out’ by Bouygues UK – backed by over GBP5 million support from Welsh Government and industrial partners.
Advanced Energy expands with new lab near Frankfurt Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. has opened its Advanced Materials Processing (AMP) Showcase Lab near Frankfurt, Germany.
TTM Technologies unveils NY engineering center On the heels of its acquisition of manufacturing and IP assets from i3 Electronics Inc., TTM Technologies has announced the opening of a new engineering center in Binghamton, NY.
EU Commission to support pan-European battery development Seven member states will provide, in the coming years, up to EUR 3.2 billion in funding to support research and innovation in the common European priority area of batteries.
The pulse of the electronics industry Growth is slowing worldwide and the industry’s outlook is less optimistic than in previous quarters, although it is still generally positive, according to the results of IPC’s fourth-quarter 2019 Pulse of the Electronics Industry survey.
Teradyne delivers J750 semiconductor test system to Ardentec Teradyne has hit a milestone with the 6,000th shipment of the J750 family of semiconductor testers.
Season Group names new SvP for global business development Season Group has appointed Stephen Tsao as the company's new Senior Vice President, Global Business Development.
Zestron appoints new sales director Europe Mr. Adam Meinert recently joined ZESTRON as the Sales Director of Europe.
Sypris Electronics tapped for NASA project Sypris Electronics LLC has been awarded a contract from Collins Aerospace in association with NASA’s Orion Spacecraft project.
NexLogic eyes implantable med-electronics NexLogic Technologies Inc. has announced its entry into assembly and manufacturing of implantable medical devices, a rapidly growing segment in the medical electronics market.
International Wire Group buys Owl Wire and Cable International Wire Group (IWG) has acquired New York-based Owl Wire and Cable from Marmon Holdings Inc.
ZF to set up third research and development centre in China ZF Friedrichshafen AG is establishing a third Chinese R&D centre in Guangzhou southern China. Representatives of ZF and the local authorities have signed an agreement and ZF plans to invest approximately EUR 90 million in the new development center.
Semiconductor market suffers another plunge in Q3 With revenue plunging by a gut-wrenching 14.7% in the third quarter, the global semiconductor market appears destined for a year of double-digit decline, despite some signs of growth in the critical memory segment, says IHS Markit.
Ericsson to pay $1B to resolve US corruption investigations Swedish telecom company Ericsson has reached a resolution on U.S. FCPA investigations by the the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Bel acquires CUI Inc. power assets Bel Fuse Inc. has closed on its previously-announced deal with CUI Global for the majority of the power business of its subsidiary, CUI Inc.Load more news