In-Mold Electronics

In-Mold Electronics

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In-mold electronics

In-Mold Electronics eliminates additional weight and post-processing operation by allowing parts to directly includes the electronic circuitry during the molding cycle. It combines In-Mold Decorating (IMD) technology with Printed Electronics. Benefits include enhanced manufacturing productivity, overall system cost reductions and greater design flexibility. Designers like the technology as it allows them to eliminate the buttons and multiple layers involved in the assembly of conventional electro-mechanical switches and replace them with pre-integrated plastic parts. The result is a highly-functional, lightweight, and aesthetical parts.

Typically, an In-Mold Electronics application starts with the screen printing of a PC or PE film with its decorative design. On top of it, are screen-printed a conductive, and dielectric inks. Once cured, the printed films are thermo-formed to a 3D shape. The 3D forms are then placed in an injection mold to have resin injected behind it. The final part is a rigid plastic component with functionality. Surface mount components such as connectors or LEDs are added after the forming and molding operations to increase functionality of the part. GenesInk SmartInk offers no compromise between thermoformability and conductivity.

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Automotive industry

Advantages of In-Mold Electronics are numerous and include: lightweighting, space-saving, robustness, freedom of design.

In-Mold Electronics is used for manufacturing instruments and door panels as well as window and door controls in automobiles. IME allows to re design the shape of door panels, including touch sensors for seat positioning, but also integrated door heater and control sensors. IME enable designers to work on new shapes for car interiors. With less materials and parts used, plus a significant processing step reduction in production, the cost saving is also beneficial to the car makers.

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Aeronautic industry

In the aeronautic industries, where buttons and wires account for a significant weight in usual switches, In-Mold Electronic technology eliminates them providing a significant weight reduction. It simplifies the design, make the circuit part of the structure, and therefore eliminate a lot of the wiring thus saving space and weight.

Integrated antennas into the aircraft body can also save significant space and weight in airplanes and helicopters. Those antennas can be in molded thru a printing / molding process that has been already demonstrated by GenesInk team.

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Appliances

In-Mold Electronics will also serve as touch controls in numerous white goods appliances. By integrating In-Mold Electronics into appliances not only helps manufacturers improving the design of their products but also gaining significant advantages in production. Such advantages are the elimination of bulky tech boxes, reduction of waste when printing electronic, suppressing use of lead, complying to RoHS, and being more cost efficient that traditional membrane switches boards.