The design, material and process opportunities for In-Mould Electronics

An abstract circuit concept image to illustrate in-mould electronics
© iStock/gremlin

Dr Khasha Ghaffarzadeh, the research director at IDTechEx, has published a report to identify the design, material and process innovation opportunities of the In-Mould Electronics sector.

According to Dr Ghaffarzadeh, In-Mould Electronics is expected enable high-volume production of structural electronics. The electronic circuitry and functionality will be part of the 3D-shaped structure itself. This is intended to enable new elegant designs as well as saving space and weight.

Ghaffarzade said: “In-Mould Electronics is not exactly a new process or technology. In fact, in many ways, it is an evolution of the well-established IMD, or in mould decoration, in which moulding (or other ways of 3D forming) are combined with graphic printing. The transition from IMD to In-Mould Electronics, however, is not straight forward, especially on a commercial scale. Indeed, this partially explains why it has taken this long for In-Mould Electronics to establish lasting commercial success despite all the efforts and false staFrts.”

“However, this is changing. Indeed, there are already low-volume In-Mould Electronics products on the market and the transition towards higher volume application is not far off. Our report, In-Mold Electronics 2019-2029: Technology, Market Forecasts, Players, finds that the market will exceed $250M by 2024. This report provides a detailed assessment of the materials, processes, products and protypes, application and markets for In-Mould Electronics and multiple rival technologies such as moulded interconnect devices (MID) or aerosol deposition. Furthermore, this report provides application-segmented ten-year market forecasts and overviews of the key companies across this emerging value chain.”

Ghaffarzadeh adds: “Everything must change to enable the commercialization of In-Mould Electronics. New materials must be developed that can survive new requirements such as stretching and 3D forming; new processes must be developed to combine 2D printing, 3D forming and rigid component placement, and new design procedures and product concepts must be developed based on material and process characteristics as well as market needs. This extensive change at many levels has prolonged the go-to-market timelines.”

For the full report see www.IDTechEx.com/IME or for more information contact research@IDTechEx.com.

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