Mumbai, India (PressExposure) November 13, 2009 -- TRW Automotive Systems GmbH has been presented with the âMID Industry Award 2009â by âForschungsvereinigung 3D-MID e. V.â at the âproductronica 2009â trade show in Munich. The Aschaffenburg-based system supplier received this award for a steering wheel module with right- and left-hand operating switches made of Pocan DP T 7140 LDS from LANXESS. The steering wheel is a feature of the new BMW Z4 Roadster.
The switch assemblies are the first large, series-produced automotive components manufactured as molded interconnect devices, or MIDs for short, using laser direct structuring* (LDS). âLaser direct structuring with our tailor-made polyester yields a great many benefits. These include the small footprint of LDS components, more flexible design of the circuit layout, enhanced component functionality and substantial weight-saving potentialâ, explains Ralf Jantz, an MID expert at LANXESS. Moreover, fewer assembly components are required, which simplifies the structure of articles made using LDS. For example, there is no need for the switches to have circuit boards or cables.
Great potential for MIDs in automotive engineering
A whole host of mechanical and electrical functions can be integrated in MIDs. Consequently, they have many potential uses in electrical components for automotive applications. Items such as rotary transducers, sensor housings, actuators, control boxes, steering wheel modules and the interconnect devices of locking systems can all be made using MID technology. Laser direct structuring* is a particularly innovative method for the production of MIDs. It enables conductive circuits to be applied to three-dimensional plastic interconnect devices simply and cost-effectively, is flexible in the event of layout changes and does not require etching or pickling chemicals. The LPKF-LDS process** was developed by LPKF Laser & Electronics AG.
Polyester for lead-free soldering processes
Pocan DP T 7140 LDS is a polyester tailored specifically for LDS components. It has been adapted to every stage of the LDS process â from injection molding and lasering through to metalizing and any subsequent soldering required. âThe great strength of the high heat grade is its very high heat deflection temperature (HDT) (Bf) of 250 Â°C. This makes it ideal for lead-free soldering in the vapor phaseâ, explains Jantz. For example, various LEDs, resistors, capacitors and SMDs (surface mount devices) are fitted to the two operating switches using vapor phase soldering at 235 Â°C.
The âMID Industry Awardâ is presented every two years. It aims to help promote MID manufacturing technologies and raise their profile. The award goes to industrial companies implementing outstanding, innovative component and process solutions that provide crucial impetus in terms of advancing MID technology.
* Utilization of the laser direct structuring process to make MIDs may be subject to third-party industrial property rights, for example EP 1191127 B1, EP 1274288 and EP 0917597 B1. ** LPKF-LDS is a registered trademark of LPKF Laser & Electronics AG.
Leverkusen, October 11, 2009 rei/fah (2009-00194e)
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