TactoTek teams for recycling 3D molded electronics

TactoTek teams for recycling 3D molded electronics

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Finnish molded electronics pioneer TactoTek is working with TNO in the Netherlands on the challenging topic of recycling 3D molded electronics

The strategic partnership will see TactoTek working with TNO at Holst Centre on in-mold structural electronics (IMSE), including working together to build an ecosystem for sustainability and recycling.

Joint research will include methods for recycling IMSE solutions that integrate circuitry and electronic components within 3D plastics. The companies share the bold ambition of making IMSE parts the first truly circular electronics devices. Combining molded plastics with interconnect and integrated circuits can reduce size and weight of equipment but presents major challenges for recycling at the end of the product lifetime.

The TactoTek platforms integrate printed electronics and electronic components within 3D injection-molded plastics to create smart surfaces for uses such as lighting and human-machine interfaces (HMIs). The company last week opened a design hub in Munich, Germany.

TNO at Holst Centre is a global innovation and research leader whose specialties include printed and flexible electronics as well as climate impacts. Because IMSE is licensed by some of the world’s largest manufacturers, sustainability gains can scale quickly.

“TactoTek’s IMSE platforms inherently provide substantial sustainability benefits by significantly reducing the number of components and amount of materials required for electronic solutions. Solving the challenge of separating diverse materials in an IMSE part we can approach circularity for IMSE and certain other types of rigid and flexible printed electronics solutions,” said Jeroen van den Brand, Department Manager of Printed Electronics at Holst Centre.

“Electronics content is increasing across many markets, including automotive, appliances, IoT, and others, therefore, driving to full circularity for electronics is an important aspect of achieving global greenhouse gas emissions reduction and sustainability,” said TactoTek’s CTO Antti Keränen. 

“TNO at Holst Centre has earned its reputation as a premiere research institution and TactoTek is enthusiastic about our partnership to create the next generation of fully recyclable electronics. Together we can assess techniques that span design, production, and post-use reclamation.”



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