Foto: csi Entwicklungstechnik

IMSE: Meltingly beautiful

This is precisely the case with IMSE. The abbreviation stands for In-Mold Structural Electronics, i.e. ultra-thin, lightweight structures with integrated electronics. IMSE was developed by the Finnish high-tech company TactoTek. The csi Group is one of the few licensed development service providers allowed to use the technology. This technology allows the limits of mechanical design to be left behind. Why? Because the process involves printing electronics, or conductive materials and circuits, directly onto plastic films and then forming them three-dimensionally or inserting them into plastic components.

IMSE integrates printed circuits and discrete electronic components into 3D injection-molded plastics, creating a seamless structure. This means that where complex, multi-part assemblies were previously necessary, IMSE offers a slim, one-piece and design-oriented solution that is also easier to assemble. This gives engineers, but above all designers, completely new freedom and allows them to develop new solutions and trends and thus differentiate themselves on the market.


Thanks to IMSE, functions can be integrated into components where previously there was simply no room for them. A height of just 4.5 to 6 millimetres is enough to implement IMSE in them and they can be found virtually everywhere – for example in the instrument panel, in trim strips or even in backrests. Almost any surface can be illuminated with IMSE and turned into a control panel, switch or (sliding) control, without compromising the aesthetic and tactile quality of the material.

This is what makes the process and technology so interesting for areas where aesthetics and design are paramount. For example, the automotive and aircraft industries, but also medical technology and consumer electronics. Whether lighting systems, strip lighting, sensors, WiFi, Bluetooth or other connect applications – with IMSE, switching on and off or control will be child’s play in the future.


While a conventional electronic switch is made up of countless individual components, an IMSE switch, which fulfills the same or even more functions, consists of a single component. This not only allows better utilization of existing installation space, but is also much easier and therefore cheaper to install. Or to replace if necessary. As IMSE is also perfectly suited to – temporarily – enabling extended functions, the technology is of interest to all OEMs who want to offer hardware-as-a-service. Precisely because IMSE is so small, the experts at csi are convinced that it will be THE next big thing (not only) in the interior.

Read more articles on electromobility & autonomous driving in the current issue of eMove360° magazine in german language.

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