Sensor INKxperience Kit

A Toolkit to Inspire Digital Solutions of the Future

Sensor INKxperience Kit – A Henkel Qhesive Solution

In a rapidly changing, digitalized world, it is in the DNA of Henkel Qhesive Solutions to transform the status quo and find new solutions that are not only smarter but also better. The Internet of Things (IoT) is one megatrend at the forefront of digital transformation. Hence, collecting meaningful data is an important element to IoT solutions improving products and processes, making sensor technology an important component of Henkel Qhesive Solutions.

“Across industries, we see a growing demand for sensor integration into surface structures, creating an intelligent surfaces interface for collecting data points. Printed electronics is the process of printing conductive inks onto flexible substrates to create thin, flexible, and lightweight circuitry that is integrable to large surfaces and in spaces where traditional electronics are not commonplace. Henkel’s conductive ink portfolio enables various sensing solutions, which, once integrated, can result into multifold IoT applications. Therefore, we see printed electronics as an enabler to Henkel Qhesive Solutions,” Melanie Wendrikat, Market Strategy Manager Printed Electronics at Henkel.

Inside the Sensor INKxperience Kit

The Henkel Qhesive Solutions Sensor INKxperience Kit is designed to introduce engineers across industries to printed electronics technology and educate them about the myriad of possibilities. The kit offers the opportunity to explore and experiment with printed electronics throughout the early ideation phase of a new project.

What can users expect from the kit? To demonstrate the possibilities with printed electronics, we have introduced 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. 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 invention of new ideas during prototyping and early-stage engineering process of the next-generation IOT sensors.

From Idea to Sensor Inkxperience in 14 Months

With the ambition of creating a “demo box” and to lower the entrance barrier of printed electronics technology, we started the kit development in early February 2022. We split the multi-disciplinary project team into three workstreams, with functions such as product development, business and operations, and marketing represented, which allowed us to move the project from product concept, prototyping, and final assembly. We also leveraged Henkel’s internal capabilities to produce the housing components for the sensors using LOCTITE 3D Printing materials, highlighting the cross-functional collaboration needed to bring this type of new product into the market. The kit was launched at the end of February 2023 with much anticipation and support by our ecosystem partners LAIIER® and Quad Industries, who provided fundamental industry feedback on the kit's features, usability, and market access.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Henkel on the innovative INKxperience Kit. This partnership showcases our commitment to advancing printed electronics technology and empowering engineers across industries. The kit serves as a gateway to the future, allowing engineers to explore the boundless possibilities of this cutting-edge field. With circuits crafted by Quad Industries, the INKxperience Kit is the perfect avenue for unlocking new realms of creativity and knowledge in printed electronics,” Arne Castelyn, Managing Director at Quad Industries.

"LAIIER's partnership with the Henkel Printed Electronics team demonstrates the best of the best of printed electronics technologies. By leveraging high performance materials with sophisticated analog and digital electronics, it creates effective sensor technology that is uniquely scalable and cost effective, and has the potential to transform sensing capabilities across a broad range of use cases." Matt Johnson, CEO & Co-founder of LAIIER.

Unboxing the Sensor Inkxperience With Kynze

After the first unboxing of our Henkel Qhesive Solutions Kit, Kynze started evaluating and testing each printed sensor and the connected hardware and software at the Kynze facility in Quebec, Canada. For each technology offered in the kit, Florent Lefèvre and his colleague Alex Guilbeault Sauvé defined a different setup. For example, the capacitive non-contact liquid level sensor was used to validate multiple liquids ranging from water to oil. At the same time, the PTC Heater was used to test for potential integration into textiles, so a comprehensive assessment was made. 

“We have a very nice impression of the kit. The upper level looks fantastic!” says Florent Lefèvre, president at Kynze, when unboxing the kit for the first time. “My first impression is the sensors look easy to test; simply plug and try. There is a high diversity of printed electronics technologies to explore within one compact package. Usually, development kits are not as broad but rather specific to one technology, which is a nice differentiating factor for the kit.”

The Potential of the Sensor INKxperience Kit

The Sensor INKxperience kit provides a solution for engineers to easily iterate and come up with proof-of-concept designs during the prototyping and the developing phase. In addition, the application of printed electronics surface technologies, combined with hardware and software, completely enables a new scope of data collection available at the tip of your fingertips. As we look to the future, the Sensor INKxperience Kit is a response to the ongoing digital transformation driving the implementation of IoT solutions across a variety of industries and is the first of its kind to offer a solution that is easily accessible and available for purchase online and directly delivered to your doorstep. 

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