TactoTek’s IMSE technology reduces greenhouse gas emissions and plastics use
TactoTek (Oulu, Finland), developer and licenser of in-mould structural electronics (IMSE) technology, recently published its achievements towards more sustainable electronics manufacturing. An independent lifecycle analysis (LCA) by the Finnish research institute VTT revealed that an electronics part manufactured using IMSE technology results in 35% lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than a comparable conventional electronics design. In addition, because IMSE combines both mechanical structure and electronic function in a single part, an IMSE part typically uses 50-75% less plastics than a conventional assembly.
The European Union and national legislative requirements globally are driving a shift to more sustainable manufacturing across many industries. Moreover, OEMs and manufacturers in many markets are outpacing regulation in their sustainability and recycling efforts. IMSE supports more sustainable operations without compromising the electronic functionality consumers want.
“Environmental responsibility is a TactoTek core value, both for our own operations and the IMSE technology that we develop and license to global mass manufacturers,” stated TactoTek CEO Jussi Harvela. “IMSE technology enables OEMs to realise their design objectives cost effectively while significantly reducing the environmental impact of electronics throughout their complete lifecycle.”
In addition to reducing the use of plastics and GHG generated during manufacturing, IMSE technology utilises clean, additive processing methods. For example, circuitry and electronics are created with printing processes, rather than toxic chemical etching. TactoTek is also working with recycling leaders to verify the best recycling methods for IMSE parts and to ensure that they are widely available.
“With IMSE there are fewer parts to design, source, manufacture, transport and assemble relative to conventional electronics assemblies,” noted Marko Suo-Anttila, SVP engineering and operations. “With IMSE we provide our licensees with a solution that provides new design freedom while reducing GHG emissions, using less plastics and eliminating toxic waste streams. This is the just the beginning—we are also verifying a new generation of bio-based plastics and other sustainable materials for IMSE use.”
Caption: TactoTek’s CEO Jussi Harvela stresses environmental responsibility for his company’s products and designs (photo: TactoTek)