TactoTek applauded by Frost & Sullivan for improving industrial resource usage and reducing energy use


Frost & Sullivan recently analysed the European structural electronics industry and recognises TactoTek (Oulu, Finland) with the 2021 European Structural Electronics New Product Innovation Award. The solution encases electronics in plastic, conforms to their complex shapes, fits the space within them, and exhibits the required aesthetic appearance of the finished product. The IMSE (injection moulded structural electronics) solution reduces material and energy use to improve industrial resource sustainability. The structural electronics solution encapsulates and integrates standard electronic components and printed electronics within 3D-injected moulded plastics to make smart moulded structures. IMSE parts are as durable as the plastic resins used to make them, such as polycarbonate, TPU, and others, and can conform to complex shapes of vehicle interiors, countertop appliances, and other use cases. The solution is designed to meet specific electrical structural, performance, and visual quality requirements.

TactoTek’s IMSE solution reduces material and energy use, enabling it to meet stricter European Union regulations for improved industrial resource usage. Together with minimal waste streams and clean additive processes, the structural solution is more environment-friendly than conventional electronics. The structural parts also:

  • Reduce plastics use by up to 70% and lowers greenhouse gas emissions by up to 35%. The cumulative effect of reducing the amount of materials, value and mass of parts further reduces the environmental impact of up- and downstream logistics.
  • Use stimulation processes to reduce the number of prototypes required to prepare an IMSE part, making it ready for serial production.
  • Integrate structure, cosmetic, and electronic functions into a single, seamless piece to reduce the number of manufacturing tools required in comparison to traditional electronics fabrication, by up to 90%.

Mike Valenti, an industry analyst, asserts: “TactoTek IMSE structures are thin, typically 2mm-4mm wall thickness, and can conform to complex shapes and, thus, can deliver electronic functionality in locations difficult or prohibitive for conventional electronics. They integrate mechanical structure, cosmetic surfaces, and electronic functions such as lighting, touch controls and antennas, into the thin wall thickness, reducing assembly depth by up to 90% and making it easier to integrate electronic features into tight spaces. It also reduces weight by up to 70%, in turn reducing automobile fuel consumption.”

The IMSE solution also offers great reliability, high performance value, and exceptional customer service and purchase experiences. Its single-piece construction reduces the number of tools, suppliers, and parts source and inventory, streamlining supply chains and supporting competitive economics.

Valenti explains: “The IMSE technology effectively converts individual thin films, adhesives, and electronic parts into a single part that is lightweight, durable, and delivers reduced total cost of ownership while providing engineers greater design freedom.”

TactoTek Oy recently demonstrated the reduced environmental impact of its IMSE structures. Its strong performance earns its Frost & Sullivan’s 2021 European New Product Innovation Award in structural electronics.

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has developed an innovative element in a product by leveraging leading-edge technologies. The award recognises the value-added features/benefits of the product and the increased return on investment (ROI) it gives customers, which, in turn, raises customer acquisition and overall market penetration potential.

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognize companies in various regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analyses, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.

Caption: TactoTek’s In-Mould Structural Electronics solution (IMSE) encases electronics in plastic, conforms to the often complex shapes of the electronics they protect, fits the space within the larger product, and exhibits the required aesthetic appearance of the finished product (photo: Frost & Sullivan)

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