In-Mold Electronics: the transition from art to platform technology

April 26, 2019 //By Dr Khasha Ghaffarzadeh
In-Mold Electronics
In-Mold Electronics (IME) is a technology for structurally integrating electronic functionality into 3D-shaped parts. The value proposition is compelling: the technology enables novel and elegant designs, reduces weight and saves space, and decrease part and assembly numbers.

The technology is no longer young. Its successful realization however still resembles a black art. IDTechEx Research believe that in time the technology can become an accessible platform technology. Once this occurs, numerous products can be designed and manufactured using IME in diverse sectors including automotive, white goods, consumer electronics, and others. Basically, IME can become the method of choice when it makes sense to integrate relatively simple electronics with structural parts.

In this article we describe the current and the future (potential) state of affairs highlight how a transition can take place to evolve the technology from a black art method towards an accessible manufacturing platform. We will also look at the roles that different players in the value chain are fulfilling that could aid with enabling this transition.

This article draws from the recent IDTechEx Research report, In-Mold Electronics 2019-2029: Technology, Market Forecasts, Players, which finds that the market will exceed $250M by 2024. It also provides a detailed assessment of the materials, processes, products and protypes, application and markets for IME and multiple rival technologies such as molded interconnect devices (MID) or aerosol deposition.

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