Antolin, e2ip and WalterPack join forces to develop In-Mold Electronics technology

Antolin, a tier 1 supplier of technology solutions for automotive interiors; WalterPack, an Antolin partner and global In-Mold-Decoration (IMD) leader; and e2ip technologies, In-Mold-Electronics technology innovator and Human Machine Interface partner to the world’s largest medical, aerospace, industrial, transportation and appliance OEMs, have today announced the establishment of the In-Mold-Electronics (IME) Alliance, a global initiative focused on IME technology and manufacturing.

In-Mold Electronics (IME) is a manufacturing process that integrates printed and component electronics directly into the structural surface of the product during the automated molding phase, enabling seamless integration of functionality and design. Another benefit of this technology is its sustainability: using the product’s existing structure and material (e.g., a door panel) to incorporate functional electronics within the structural surface reduces the eco-footprint of the component.

Through this alliance, e2ip, Antolin and WalterPack become the first fully integrated IME solution providers for the automotive industry with control of all elements of this technology from intellectual property to integrated manufacturing (printing, high pressure forming, injection molding), lighting and advanced electronics. Antolin and WalterPack are leveraging decades of global high-volume partnerships with the automotive industry’s largest OEMs to industrialize and directly deliver IME technology, that Antolin now fully controls through the new alliance.

Antolin has selected e2ip’s foundational Smart Structural SurfacesTM IME technology and patent portfolio as its primary platform to deliver In-Mold-Electronics smart parts to the automotive industry. e2ip has also designated Antolin as its primary partner for the automotive industry. The companies will offer a global manufacturing network to make IME available globally from ideation to fabrication within a single integrated industrial infrastructure. WalterPack produces in Spain and Mexico, while e2ip has facilities in Morocco and Canada, and Antolin boasts a worldwide manufacturing network with 130 plants across 25 countries.

“As a Tier-1 partner to the automotive industry, Antolin will fully leverage the alliance with WalterPack and e2ip to deliver directly to OEMs transformative smart surfaces with IME solutions, lighting and other functions that will seamlessly integrate into the most advanced trims”, said Javier Villacampa, Group VP Innovation and Sustainability at Antolin. “The world’s leading automotive OEMs have been working with Antolin for decades and they trust us to deliver cutting-edge and cost-efficient components on the market. Our customers can now work with a single integrated source for IME, from design to manufacturing”, said Villacampa.

“WalterPack has chosen e2ip’s technology and partner eco-system as we believe this company is uniquely positioned to lead the transition to lower eco footprint, more reliable, user-friendly, and more affordable control interfaces we will all use in our everyday lives. WalterPack’s decades of experience in surface forming and structural injection coupled with e2ip’s printed electronics, lighting, engineering, and design experience provides a fully integrated highly scalable manufacturing and technology infrastructure to meet global market demand for IME Smart Structural SurfacesTM and IME smart parts. With this alliance, WalterPack will be able to keep on independently offering to its customers leading innovative technology”, said Miguel Bernar Borda, Founder and President of WalterPack.

The IME manufacturing methodology has been taught in universities for years and is the focus of global patents going back decades. e2ip’s foundational IME patents date back to 2008. “Following years of additional research performed by e2ip technologies and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), it is now time to move into the mainstream of the finest automotive products through this unique alliance between Antolin and the IME foundational patent team, the NRC and e2ip technologies”, said Eric Saint-Jacques, CEO of e2ip technologies.

“Antolin and WalterPack are leading the way towards a safe, trustworthy, and reliable ecosystem of partners to deliver the IME Smart Structural SurfacesTM of the future directly to automotive OEMs”, added Saint-Jacques.

In cooperation with its OEM customers, Antolin and WalterPack also aim to integrate other IME technologies and partners to broaden its solutions portfolio. Additionally, e2ip technologies is also actively working on a global automotive licensing model, that greatly reduces IME economic barriers and facilitate the adoption of this technology by other Tier 1 Automotive providers. Antolin, WalterPack, and e2ip are dedicated to this strategy because they consider it to be the most effective for automakers, who serve as the industry’s anchor tenants and require diverse Tier-1 manufacturing partners and technology providers.