Leading German car interiors supplier Novem GmbH and Finnish plastronics startup TactoTek have signed a multiyear agreement to develop solutions integrating TactoTek’s injection moulded structural electronics (IMSE) electronics into premium interior trim products.
Oulu, Finland-based TactoTek manufactures 3D structural electronics by integrating printed circuitry and discrete electronic components into injection-moulded plastics.
Headquartered in Vorbach, Germany, Novem, supplies interior trim for premium brands, including Audi, BMW, Daimler, GM and Toyota.
The company said in a June 28 statement that the partnership will enable it to integrate electronic controls into surfaces so they blend into the overall design.
“We are actively promoting our IMSE-integrated trim solutions to OEMs and have current projects with TactoTek developing a range of use cases,” noted vice president operations of Novem Group, Markus Wittmann.
IMSE-solutions can be used in complex shapes in a thin, single-piece, structural part, enabling electronics to be added for function, convenience and styling in new locations. They also reduce assembly requirements and simplify installation compared to traditional electronics.
“As designers become more familiar with IMSE capabilities, we are seeing exciting innovation,” said Jussi Harvela, CEO of TactoTek.
TactoTek announced in May that it had worked directly with an OEM and received approval to manufacture plastronics for the unnamed OME’s interior automotive use.
The company has also seen increasing interest from leading automotive suppliers such as Plastic Omnium and Faurecia, which helped it raise over €18m in its latest fund-raising campaign in February this year.
At the time, the company said it would use the funding proceeds to accelerate growth, including expanding operations and production capacity in its Oulu, Finland, headquarters.
Additionally, the company aims to expand its engineering and project management teams close to customers in Central Europe and to increase its presence in Asia and North America.