Nissha Printing Co., Ltd. (Kyoto, Japan), a manufacturer of in-mold decoration (IMD) parts for automotive and home appliance OEMs, announced that it is partnering with TactoTek (Menlo Park, CA), a leading producer of 3D injection molded structural electronics (IMSE), to collaboratively design and mass produce automotive and home appliance control panels. The first control panel includes a number of electronic functions including printed circuitry, high-performance capacity touch and light-emitting diodes encapsulated within injection molded plastic. It is scheduled for high-volume mass production in 2017.
According to Kaz Oki, VP of New Product Planning at Nissha USA Inc., “We have invested considerable time and resources evaluating IMSE technology. TactoTek’s fluency in adapting traditional electronics design into IMSE solutions, combined with its ability to quickly produce prototypes that are ready for mass production in a vertically-integrated factory, sets it apart from all other companies.”
Replacing the full-sized printed circuit board and light guide structure in the current product with a single IMSE component will yield many benefits, according to Oki. “Using an IMSE component will streamline the supply chain, accelerate design innovation and reduce total costs by simplifying electrical and mechanical assembly. In addition, because IMSE electronics are encapsulated in plastic, they are protected from the moist, vibrating operating environment of this equipment. All of this is accomplished while also reducing the amount of plastic used in the final assembly, which reduces the carbon footprint.”
Jussi Harvela, CEO of TactoTek, commented, “Nissha has proved itself a leading Tier 1 manufacturer of high-quality solutions over many years. We are very pleased that Nissha had confirmed our IMSE leadership by selecting TactoTek as its partner and we look forward to combining the expertise of both companies to deliver superior solutions to OEMs and improving user experiences for consumers.”