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About IMPC™ (In-Mold Printed Circuit)
IMPC™ (In-Mold Printed Circuit)
IMPC™ (In-Mold Printed Circuit)


IMPC™ (In-Mold Printed Circuit) is a type of IME (In-Mold Electronics) technology where an inkjet-printed circuit film is given a three-dimensional form and integrally molded with various plastic resins.

  • By using a PET substrate and making the copper wiring meander (meander wiring), processes such as vacuum forming can be used in achieving a three-dimensional form.
  • By integrating the circuit board in a resin component, IMPC™ eliminates the need for a separate housing.
IMPC ™ layer configuration example
IME_layer_en_190730_1200px
IME_layer_composition_en_190730

The circuit is made to fit three-dimensional curves and molded in resin as a single-piece.

wiring

Straight wiring will be torn when made to be three-dimensional but the problem can be solved by using meander wiring.

straight
strait
Cracks appear

meander wiring
meander wiring
Cracks do not appear

Advantages of integration
IMPC ™(In-Mold Printed Circuit)Advantages of integration
IMPC ™(In-Mold Printed Circuit) Advantages of integration
IMPC ™(In-Mold Printed Circuit) Advantages of integration
IMPC ™(In-Mold Printed Circuit) Advantages of integration

  • Reduction of total weight
  • Reduced number of components
  • Improvement in designability by supporting curved surfaces
  • Miniaturization compatibility
  • Electronic devices can be soldered onto copper circuits
  • The use of inkjet printing to form the circuit makes design changes easy
  • Wiring stress is lessened by using meander wiring for the three-dimensional parts.


Application

  • Thinner, lighter touch sensors and LED lighting
  • Performance improvements from being able to place antennas and sensors on the surface

Industrial field
Consumer Equipment, Industrial Equipment

Shifting from "dissolving unnecessary parts" to "printing onto necessary parts"

P-Flex® is a single-face flex PCB manufactured using the Pure Additive™ method. Conventionally, electronic circuits have been manufactured by applying a method known as lithography, in which a thin metallic sheet is first applied to the board surface, and then unrequired sections are melted away.

Pure-Additive-method

The Pure Additive™ method (*) developed by Elephantech is a concept completely opposite to what had been used until now, using a proprietary manufacturing technology that prints metal nanoparticles with inkjet only on the necessary parts and grows metals by electroless plating technology.
(* Patent No. 6300213)

Taking the example of printed circuit boards, the conventional manufacturing method was an extremely long process in which copper foil is manufactured, laminated with film (production of CCL), and laminated with photosensitive materials before the desired copper pattern is achieved by dissolving and discarding the copper foil from unnecessary parts by exposure, development and etching.

Our process achieves the desired copper pattern by printing the metal onto film and growing it, not only forgoing the need for copper foil manufacturing and CCL manufacturing processes but also eliminating the need for the etching process to dissolve and discard the copper foil.


By reducing the amount of metal, liquid waste and man-hours, we can lessen manufacturing costs and shorten the lead time.
Elephantech will continue to reduce its environmental burden and contribute to the achievement of SDGs.

P-Flex® manufacturing specifications
Substrate Transparent heat-resistant PET film: 50 µm thick, 125 µm thick
PI (Polyimide) film: 25 µm thick
Line width / spacing 200/200 μm min., 200/150 μm min. (option)
Hole diameter 0.5 mm min.
Outline-pattern spacing 0.3 mm min.
Copper foil thickness 3 μm (please consult us if you require a thickness of more than 3 µm)
Panel size 180 × 270 mm max.
Wiring layer Single-sided
Soldermask coating UV inkjet printing (green) (waterproof graded soldermask coating is possible for special items)
Transparent, black and white soldermask coatings by silkscreen printing for PET substrate are also under development and may be available upon request.
Legend printing UV inkjet printing (white)
Surface finish Oxidation prevention treatment, Electroless nickel gold plating (option)
Outline cutting / Hole drilling Laser cutting
Stiffeners When specifying the thickness of the connector part, film stiffeners can be used to adapt to connectors of 200 µm or 300 µm in total thickness.
Component mounted parts and such can be adapted by using FR4 stiffeners of 0.1, 0.3, 0.5, 1.0, and 1.6mm in thickness.
Other stiffeners, electromagnetic wave shield film, double-sided tape and such are also available.
Inspection Visual inspection + opens/shorts test
contact us

Company information
Name Elephantech Inc.
Establishment January 2014
Address 4-3-8 Hatchobori, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0032, Japan
Capital JPY 310,000,000
Representative Shinya Shimizu, CEO
Business description Development of printed electronics manufacturing technology and provision of related services
URL https://www.elephantech.co.jp/en/
Email hello_en@elephantech.co.jp