How You Can Get Involved in IPC’s E-Textiles Activities

By Chris Jorgensen, director, IPC technology transfer

ChrisJorgensen@ipc.org

Whether you are actively involved in developing e-textiles technologies for your own products, developing e-textiles products for customers or have a vested interest in e-textiles as part of your product roadmap, IPC has activities to meet your needs.

Participate in IPC E-Textiles Committee Standards Activities

The IPC E-Textiles Committee has many standards projects which you may find of interest. These activities are open to anyone for participation, and your level of participation is entirely up to you. Your involvement as a member of a working group could range from being a member of an A-Team that meets regularly to generate content for standards, to commenting on draft standards, to listening in on meetings as an educational and networking activity.

Committee activities are also a great way to network with others in the e-textiles industry.

Here is a breakdown of activities under the committee:

  • D-71 E-Textiles Joining and Interconnection Techniques Subcommittee

This subcommittee is working on IPC-8941, Guideline for Connectors for E-Textiles, which will be a guidance document for best practices for connecting devices to e-textiles.

  • D-72 – E-Textiles Materials Subcommittee

In October 2019, this subcommittee completed its work on IPC-8921, Requirements for Woven and Knitted Electronic Textiles (E-Textiles) Integrated with Conductive Fibers, Conductive Yarns and/or Wires. IPC-8921 is IPC’s first international standard for e-textiles, and this standard sets the groundwork for other e-textiles standards activities by the committee.

We expect the subcommittee to reconvene soon to revisit the standard for revision based on industry feedback as well as to reference a new IPC standard on conductive fiber, wire, and yarn.

In the meantime, we encourage you to check out IPC-8921, which you can obtain from the IPC online store.

  • D-73a E-Textiles Printed Electronics Design Standard Task Group

This task group is developing IPC-8952, Design Standard for Printed Electronics on Coated or Treated Textiles and E-Textiles. This standard will set design rules for printed electronics on textiles applications, focusing specifically on printing onto textiles or e-textiles which have a coating or treatment.

The task group began work on this standard earlier this year and is in the working draft stage. If  you design or print these technologies, or if you are a supplier of printed functional materials, treatments or coatings used for these technologies, this task group could use your involvement.

  • D-75a-EU E-Textiles Wearables Standard Task Group in Europe

This task group is developing IPC-8981, Quality and Reliability of E-Textiles Wearables, which will set test and reliability requirements for e-textiles wearables. Rather than focus on just one kind of wearable (fashion, military, medical, etc.), this group is establishing generic product classifications for e-textiles wearables so all product types could be covered under the same standard. Test requirements for the classifications will vary based on input from users and manufacturers in those product sectors. This standard will also address washability expectations for the different classes of product.

In addition to these established groups, the committee is also seeking volunteers to work on two new standards:

  • A specification for conductive fiber, yarn and wire for e-textiles applications
  • A specification for e-textiles for high-voltage applications

Propose New Standards Topics

The D-70 Committee is always looking for suggestions from industry for new standards topics. For instance:

  • Design, process guide or reliability for transferring printed electronics onto textiles using heat/pressure
  • Standard for braided e-textiles

New test methods – these could be to support an existing or under-development standard or to address a need in industry.

Attend IPC E-Textiles Virtual Summits

Due to COVID-19, IPC shifted both of our IPC E-Textiles events to virtual formats. Although we wished we could have everyone together in person as we did the past two years, where we saw so much energy and enthusiasm from attendees, going virtual also means there are some benefits to you.

  • We have scheduled U.S. and Europe Virtual Summits to be broken up into morning and afternoon workshops. U.S. workshops will take place on U.S. time, and Europe workshops will take place on local European time. This means we can provide the events as planned for those markets, but it also means that people from across the globe can still participate. For instance, people in Europe can participate in the morning U.S. sessions, and those in the U.S. can participate in the afternoon Europe sessions. Our colleagues in Asia can also participate in the morning European sessions.

    IPC will record all the sessions for registered attendees to watch on-demand after the event.

  • By going virtual, we have the unique opportunity to bring FIVE leading e-textiles laboratories in the US and Europe to your desktop. The Virtual Summits will include demonstrations by the
    • University of Minnesota Wearable Technology Lab
    • Empa – Switzerland
    • Centre for Textile Science and Engineering – Belgium
    • University of West Attica – Greece
    • ENSAIT GEMTEX Lab – France

Registration for each Virtual Summit is just $120 for IPC members and $150 for nonmembers, a fraction of what other groups are charging for their e-textiles virtual events this year.

To view the speakers for IPC E-Textiles 2020 (U.S.) and to register, go to: www.ipc.org/E-Textiles-NA.

The IPC E-Textiles Europe 2020 Virtual Summit Program Committee should announce the speakers for this event shortly. You can still register today at www.ipc.org/E-Textiles-EU20.

Whether you join one of our active working groups, propose an idea for a new standard or participate in one or both of our Virtual Summits, we are certain you will find the education, technical and networking activities to support your e-textiles plans.

 

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