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TactoTek® Injection Molded Structural Electronics (IMSE™) Solution Is Automotive Certified
Independent Test Labs Validate IMSE Part for Automotive OEM
OULU, FINLAND (24 May 2018) – Today TactoTek®, the leading developer of injection molded structural electronics (IMSE™) solutions, announced that one of its IMSE designs has passed an automotive OEM’s test requirements for interior use in its vehicles. TactoTek worked directly with the OEM who funded the project to adapt their traditional electronics part to IMSE design rules, and TactoTek manufactured parts for verification and testing. Tests were conducted by automotive test laboratories under contract to the OEM, who has chosen to remain anonymous.
The tested IMSE solution is a very advanced design funded by the customer that includes more features than the traditional electronics solution on which it was modeled. “Our customer came to us with very bold, innovative ideas for industrial design and an ambitious set of features—the resulting part is their vision realized using IMSE technology,” noted Miikka Kärnä, TactoTek Head of Product Creation. “Our challenge was to engineer an IMSE solution that met their requirements for form factor, function, and performance. An iterative development process resulted in an IMSE part that is 3-dimensional, only 3.5 mm thick and reduces mass by 60%.”
Among many features, the IMSE part includes: printed circuitry; printed touch controls, including multiple buttons and sliders; printed 3D gesture recognition antenna; and 33 LEDs that provide illumination for styling, icon/control back lighting and task lighting. All printed electronics and LEDs for lighting effects are molded within the 3D plastic structure. The result is a single, easily-integrated part. Unlike multi-part traditional electronics construction, the IMSE solution required only one injection molding tool to produce.
Independent labs were engaged by the OEM to subject the IMSE parts to a wide range of automotive tests. Some of these tests included:
- Thermal shock (-40C to +85C),
- Low temperature and high temperature operation,
- Humidity temperature cycling,
- EMC testing, and
- Shake and rattle testing.
TactoTek IMSE parts met the OEM’s acceptance criteria.
“We are very pleased to have independent verification of our IMSE solution performance. Meeting automotive OEM requirements is quite challenging,” noted Marko Suo-Anttila, TactoTek SVP Engineering. “Creating IMSE solutions that pass automotive grade tests requires specialized understanding of materials combinations, processing requirements and design rules. TactoTek has developed a structured knowledge base of that data.”
TactoTek designs and builds IMSE solutions at its vertically-integrated headquarters factory in Oulu, Finland. IMSE solutions can be mass produced by TactoTek, or TactoTek licensees.