TactoTek, the Finland-based company that develops, industrializes and licenses in-mold structural electronics (IMSE™), and Alps Alpine, a designer and manufacturer of high-quality electronic products, announced that they have collaborated to develop an IMSE human-machine interface (HMI) solution for a premium German automotive OEM.
In this project, Alps Alpine started the development with the industrial design and HMI of an existing serial production part of the premium German automotive OEM. TactoTek worked with Alps Alpine to transform their current design thinking into an IMSE electromechanical design and deliver an IMSE solution that meets demanding automotive cosmetic and functional requirements. TactoTek manufactured the resulting parts in their vertically integrated production facility in Oulu, Finland.
According to Hiroyuki Sato, Alps Alpine VP Automotive Module Business and Engineering, “For this use case TactoTek’s IMSE technology enabled our team to meet the OEM’s HMI requirements and satisfy several other objectives including light-weighting and space saving in a seamless single piece design. The results of the project have inspired our team to develop IMSE solutions for several other use cases in automotive and other markets.”
The resulting HMI parts with IMSE technology include printed electronics for circuitry, seven digital touch buttons and one slider as well as seven LEDs for backlighting controls, all of which are encapsulated within the 3D injection molded structure. Because IMSE technology is used, the finished part is only 2.5 millimeters thick, has a seamless cosmetic surface for appearance and easy cleaning and sterilization, and requires no manual assembly of in-mold electronics.
“Alps Alpine has deep understanding of automotive OEM requirements. They quickly identified how IMSE technology could support high value functional, styling and packaging objectives. Together we were able to deliver a solution that inspired the OEM and will lead to many more use cases,” said Sami Hyyryläinen, TactoTek Senior Vice President, Field Operations.
TactoTek® is a leading provider of solutions for Injection Molded Structural Electronics (IMSE) that integrate printed circuitry and electronic components into 3D injection molded plastics. Leading use cases include in-vehicle applications, home/industrial appliances, and wearable technology. TactoTek develops and industrializes IMSE technology, develops mass production ready IMSE prototypes, and licenses IMSE technology for 3rd party mass production. TactoTek is funded by Conor Venture Partners, Voima Ventures, Nordic Option Oy, Valeado AB, Faurecia Ventures, 3M Ventures, Cornes Technologies Limited, Repsol Energy Ventures, Plastic Omnium, Nanogate, Ascend Capital Partners, Leaguer VC, Nordea, Finnvera, ELY Center, Business Finland, various European Union’s funding programs and private angels. For more information, please visit www.tactotek.com
About Alps Alpine
Alps Alpine Co., Ltd. is a leading manufacturer of electronic components and vehicle on-board information equipment. It has produced numerous industry-first and No. 1 products since its foundation in 1948. They currently have 110 bases located across 26 countries worldwide and provide approx. 40,000 products and solutions to approx. 2,000 customers worldwide. These include device products such as switches, sensors, and data communication modules, unit products such as electronic shifters for vehicles and car navigation systems for commercial use, and systems and services such as smartphone apps and digital keys that utilize blockchains.
For more information please visit https://www.alpsalpine.com/e/