In-Mold Electronics

Create innovative electronic circuits and control panels with in-mold electronics. This state-of-the-art process allows you to improve the efficiency of your company and make your innovative designs come to life. Learn more about this process to see how you can improve your product design and manufacturing process in your industry.

What Are In-Mold Electronics?

In-mold electronics, or IME electronics, starts with conductive inks and flexible film substrates. Conductive inks allow IME manufacturers to print circuits and create 3D forms through thermoforming.

The formed parts are die cut from a sheet and placed in a mold. The mold is then prepared for a plastic injection molding process to create a rigid plastic housing. Both the electronics circuits and the injection molding are fully customizable to create a wide range of products for various industries. This innovative process builds on in-mold decorating and in-mold labeling techniques.

What Are IMD and IML?

In-mold decorating and in-mold labeling, or IMD and IML, use similar steps to create custom plastic components. Instead of placing printed circuits into the mold, IMD inserts a decoration and IML inserts a label.

Both of these processes then follow the traditional injection molding steps to create a durable, custom component. The final product has a label or decoration firmly formed into the plastic without the use of adhesives.

Because IMD and IML use graphics, labels or other small components, they’re typically more affordable than IME. They’re popularly used in similar industries, though they can also be used to manufacture components that don’t require circuits.

What Are the Advantages of In-Mold Electronics?

Creating electronic controls and plastic housings used to be a multi-step, costly process. This limited the use of electronic control panels in appliances, automotive design and other industries. With IME technology, however, you can enjoy the following benefits as you manufacture control panels and other electronics:

  • Affordable solution
  • Fast assembly time
  • Lightweight electronics
  • Innovative design options

Cutting out steps in the manufacturing process reduces the overall cost. Compared to traditional electronics assembly, IME can create items faster and for less investment.

Reduce excess plastic, adhesives, fasteners and other items traditionally used in electronics manufacturing through the IME process. The result is a futuristic, lightweight display for appliances, automobiles and other electronics applications.

From prototyping to mass production, IME offers a convenient, affordable way to create innovative products. You don’t have to spend significant resources assembling electronics, and your designs aren’t limited in the same way as other electronics manufacturing options.

How Is IME Used in the Automotive Industry?

Create robust products for the automotive industry using IME. This dependable manufacturing process can be used to create the following automotive components:

  • Control panels
  • Instruments
  • Door panels
  • Door and window controls
  • Touch sensors
  • Door heaters

Reshape automotive interior design with IME. The insert molding process significantly expands your automotive design opportunities and allows you to create custom trim components without dramatically increasing the price.

Use sleek electronic controls throughout your automotive design instead of bulky, old-fashioned buttons and levers. This technology has created new opportunities for dashboard displays, streamlined control panels and sleek door buttons in modern automotive manufacturing.

Other In-Mold Applications

There are many other industries where in-mold decoration, labeling and electronics can be used. Consider working with our team to create components for your manufacturing process in the following industries:

  • Aerospace
  • Appliances
  • Consumer electronics
  • Medical devices
  • Food packaging
  • Lawn and gardening equipment

These are some of the most common industries that take advantage of IME, IMD and IML, but there are many others. Contact our team at Silver Basis Engineering to create innovative product designs in your industry with in-mold technology!