Plastic technology – environmental saviour?
Injection moulding for the next generation of electric vehicles
Prior to the outbreak of Covid-19, the wider plastics industry was undoubtedly having a tough time in the public’s perception as single use plastics and the prevalence of micro beads in so many environments were identified as contributing factors in the decline of our planet’s wonderful ecosystems. Much of the criticism is justified as consumer products can drive so much waste which the world is not yet well equipped to capture and re-use.
One of the many attractions of plastics is this ability to reprocess the material and use it again and again, but in many industries this just doesn’t happen and used plastic becomes waste. The pandemic has briefly highlighted our reliance on plastics by creating massive demand for masks, visors, screens, ventilators and all sorts of protection and medical equipment which could not realistically be made from other materials. Inoplas Technology has very little involvement in single use plastic products but this does not absolve us of our responsibility to change the way plastics are used and properly harness the benefits.
Thinking longer term, there is a huge opportunity to make sure that designs of the future capture the best aspects of injection moulding and its inherent design flexibility. This needs to happen in all sorts of industries but, the automotive industry with the change to electric vehicles is, perhaps, the one where the greatest adjustments are already being made.
Inoplas has a long history of developing components which utilise the best aspects of plastics to ensure that the applications we support are low cost, long life, and effective. The world is moving rapidly towards vehicle electrification and the industry therefore needs expert support to deliver lower cost, longer range vehicles. Battery protection, thermal management, design for automated assembly and ‘lightweighting’ are among the many challenges that need to be resolved at the front end.
There’s no doubt that injection moulding has a major role to play and Inoplas has excellent credentials in these areas as we have already been selected to support development and production in several areas for a wide range of businesses in the UK, USA, Europe and the Far East including;
power transfer components for hybrid electric vehicles
motor encoder assembly and overmoulding for on and off road EVs
battery housing and temperature monitoring (for a well-known name in F1 & technology development)
cables and connectors for battery conditioning for hybrid hypercar
motor temperature monitoring for a global OEM’s self driving vehicles project
motor & gearing components for a leading European electric motor builder
linear & rotary position measurement components used in many applications including EV
Inoplas is actively focused on developing innovative solutions, combining manufacturing disciplines and refining existing processes to offer industries both entering and driving electrification the best in manufacturing solutions. We are firm believers that the initial design stage should consider the recycling of components at the end of the product life cycle. We are regularly approached by businesses which need to find partners to support their own developments in these areas, and we are proud that we can bring so many solutions to them and work with them to develop the solutions of the future.