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Nome del progetto:

Next-generation plastic injection technology for the car industry

Stato: Idea
Data di creazione: 23-05-2023

Obbiettivi del progetto:

Short summary Basque (north of Spain) major manufacturer of plastic aesthetic parts for the automotive industry has launched an open-innovation challenge: adopting emerging technologies into plastic injection processes to increase the car’s interior ambient lightning and consequently, users’ safety. A partner is sought to develop jointly a solution under a research cooperation agreement

Full description The evolution and miniaturization of the electronic systems has brought about an abrupt change in the design of vehicles. Today, driving, security and detection components are essential and repre-sent a 35% of the final prize of the automobile. By 2030, this figure will rise to a 50% with the incorporation of advanced built-in elec-tronic functionalities. This expectation responds to the market potential needs of 4 lines: a) information and entertainment (infotainment). Interactive leisure elements (wi-fi, videos…) b) consumption and sustainability of the engine (start-stop function) c) active and passive security (airbags, stability control…) d) Aesthetic and comfort features (climatization, noise cancelling controls…) Different OEMs have defined this line as a key future ten-dency, in particular, the ambient lightning of the vehicle. This kind of lightning has been considered as purely ornamental, however, and according to a study carried out by BMW, ambient light is closely linked with the security of the car, as it diminishes the driver’s fatigue and improves the perception of the quality of the car’s materials and design. Likewise, the Fraunhofer IAO Centre has analyzed the potential of the lighting systems to improve the driving experience by means of colours as a stimulus to prevent dizziness. These also interact with users warning them of the dangers or of the need to take control of the steering wheel. Therefore, the design of interior ambient lightings is becoming in-creasingly important from the aesthetics, comfort and safety points of view. When it comes to technologies, flexible printed electronics is versa-tile as opposed to the more rigid conventional one. A good example is IME (In mould electronics); a disruptive design process as it com-bines printed circuits and discrete electronic components within plastics. It also enables electronic functions in 3D surfaces, parts of less than 2mm thickness with electronic functionalities, electrome-chanical interfaces, and monolithic production (no assembly re-quired) among others. Thus, through IME technology, thermoplastic conventional parts can be transformed into thermoplastic parts with intelligent surfaces by integrating printed circuits and electronic components in injected 3D parts. Research of IME technology is based on 4 stages: Printing (decoration, circuits, antennas, sensors), hybridization (of electronic components in printed circuits), thermoforming (stepping from 2D to 3D), over-moulding (final integration of functional film in the thermoplastic part). This technology is not 100% developed and thus, cannot be subcon-tracted as such. The over-moulding stage is the bigger obstacle as temperature and pressure extreme conditions endanger the initial requirements and prevent functions from repetition. The final objective of the company behind the profile is to fully de-velop the technology that allows integrating of electronic elements into plastic components with a view to developing cars’ parts that have to do with ambient lightning. Before reaching such an objective, the consecution of the following processes will have to be seen to through joint research in this im-mediate challenge: a) transform conventional into flexible electronics, b) design printed electronics for its integration into a plastic multi-functional part, c) integrate the technology into the plastic injection process d) achieve a good balance between the weight, space and as-sembly cost of the components In order to tackle this challenge, the Basque company is planning to work with the prospective partner together under a research cooper-ation agreement. Schedule: submission of proposals on 24th April, deadline: 9th June 2022 (24:00 GMT+1) through the open-innovation platform. There is an information link with further info and indications on how to proceed with potential solutions. It will be provided to interested candidates upon reception of EOIs.

Technical Specification or Expertise Sought The company behind the project will research, together with the possible partner on the 4 processes mentioned in the bullets a), b), c) and d). The partner must be either industrial or academic and must be knowledgeable in electronics. The contribution of the Basque company will focus on information and expertise on moulding processes

Contact / source: NEXT EEN Widgets (