Industry 4.0: IP3 invests in plastronics to manufacture smart plastic parts

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The company IP3 Plastics Vendée from Les Herbiers, Atlantic France, decided to equip itself with innovative tools allowing electronic circuits to be integrated into plastic components. This new technology known as plastronics offers promising prospects.

Created in 1986, IP3 is an expert in plastic injection. Part of the American Industrial Acquisition Corporation (AIAC) investment group, the company is based in Vendée but also has subsidiaries in Lyon (France) and Györ (Hungary). IP3 designs and produces over 180 million plastic pieces a year. In 2019, the annual turnover in France came to a total of €23.5 million.

IP3 Plastics Vendée was recently selected by the France Relance industrial recovery plan for its project SNTS Redbee, which consists of the installation of a pilot plastronics production line. The investment amounts to €800,000.

Plastronics, a major evolution for plastic injection moulding

Plastronics, also called in-mould electronics, is a new and promising field of technology combining plastics and electronics. By investing in dedicated, innovative and patented tools, the company from Atlantic France, IP3 Plastics Vendée, can now include printed circuit boards inside plastic components of all shapes. 

These smart and recyclable plastronics parts can offer all kinds of features, for example becoming tactile to replace a button or being able to communicate with other devices thanks to IoT. They can also have embedded sensors and the technology allows the electronic components to be waterproof and better protected.

The installation of a new industrial production line dedicated to plastronics is therefore a strategic step for IP3. The company works for clients in many sectors, but mostly for the automotive industry, and there is a wide range of possible uses.

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