Getting to know In2tec

 In Blog, Company, Design to manufacture, In2tec News, Sustainability

Our Story

In2tec was formed in 2001 by a management buyout of the C&K Switches division from ITT/Cannon. C&K Switches had been in operation since the late 1970, and had been a leader in the membrane switch and interface panel business in both North America and Europe since the mid-1980’s.

C&K Switches was known for having a strong background in mechanical switch principles and electrical contact theory, which brought a unique perspective and much needed stability to the fledgling membrane switch field of the 1980s. Neil Armstrong the Group Managing Director of In2tec was working at C&K Switches as a Managing Director at the time and with three colleagues they founded In2tec by participating in a management buy-out.

Back in early 2001 when In2tec first was born we worked with Duraswitch Industries Inc. to create a license agreement for In2tec to utilise their flex circuits and embedded components as the core product for their future growth. This was a significant step in our growth as it expanded our market presence and increased our product line.

Over the years we have blossomed as a full-line interface solution provider with valued customers and carefully planned resources around the globe, focusing on customer satisfaction. We have demonstrated this in the quick upgrading and adapting of our Quality System in our UK facility to ISO 9001:2000 and more recently in the ISO 14001: 2015 Environmental Management. 

As the years have passed, we have built upon our initial success by pursuing a strategy of coupling an unmatched expertise in a broad array of innovative interface technologies with unsurpassed customer support. We have spent more than the last 15 years at the forefront of R&D in sustainable electronics and in return developed an additive conductive print and component placement process in conjunction with specialist adhesives and substrates.

Our current developments provide a more realistic target for up to 100% recyclability for low-complex circuit assemblies such as small to medium size substrate boards and larger pitch components (0306). Smaller pitch components are still possible, and development is ongoing for recyclability of BGA gate arrays.

What does In2tec’s future hold

With our drive for sustainable electronics, we are pushing for fundamental changes to achieve a circular vision and life extension for flexible electronics, compared to traditional ‘hard’ electronics. Flexible electronics offer inherently different properties in design, form, and materials from which they are manufactured. This in turn presents opportunities to allow circuit boards to be unzipped at their end-of-life and provide a more sustainable and environmentally friendly solution.

Our patented technology allows for components to be populated at low temperatures, saving energy, and easily removed from PCBs using little more than boiling water. This ‘unzipping’ process means even complex components can be extracted easily, unstresesed and undamaged from used PCBs and returned for a second-life, driving a circular economy of used parts, and allowing for PCBs to have up to 100% recyclability. With the use of highly recyclable substrates, such as aluminium or nano-cellulose, we can realise the first 100% recyclable printed circuit board assemblies.

Our future goals

Here at In2tec we are all passionate about what we do and we continue to work towards our goal – “We Protect the World for Future Generations by Inspiring Sustainable Electronics”, and we will continue to do this through hiring next-generation thinkers, innovators, and entrepreneurs to make sure we are able to meet our goal of ceasing landfill ewaste through 100% recycling of substrates, conductive circuits, and electronic components, via ultra-low energy unzipping and second-life usage for constituent parts.

Printed circuit board assemblies (PCBA’s) generally achieve 3-5 % recyclability, with harness and wiring looms at best 20% recycled. It takes significant energy (creating considerable CO2e), effort, and process time to extract the reusable properties and materials of a populated PCB. In turn, this equates to a cost, often too high a cost for this to be of commercial value.

Invariably this means the materials are buried, burned in a controlled manner, or shipped from the shores of developed countries and dumped in the most underdeveloped. We believe ReUSE® Highly Recyclable Electronic Circuit Boards is the answer and the paradigm shift the World is calling for.

We partnered with Sun Chemical to develop a series of patented ultra-low temperature releasable adhesives, manufacturing (ReUSE®) and recycling processes (ReCYCLE™) for the fabrication of electronic circuit assemblies.

Why work with In2tec?

Utilising our ReUSE® Highly Recyclable Electronic Circuit Boards means that a components usefulness does not have to end when the PCB it is mounted on has reached its end of useful life. These components can be recycled or reused, no longer needing to go straight to landfill or be burned, and just as importantly, the valuable resources and precious metals do not need to be continually mined and depleted.

In creating a truly circular economy with the generation of secondary markets in used components, we extend their life beyond discontinued OEM parts and reduce the demand for illegal-market component ‘copies’.

Our design philosophy is that nothing is impossible. In2tec has been at the forefront of innovation in Flexible Electronics and Smart HMI for 20+ years. We started our work towards developing truly sustainable electronics in 2007 and since then have continued our path to sustainability.

Our capabilities – driven by our design philosophy that “nothing is impossible”

At our core, everything we do is underpinned by the belief that “nothing is impossible”. To this end, we have developed a strength that allows us to bring together disparate and often conflicting design requirements, to provide systems and solutions that offer greater efficiency and better ergonomic design, through the breaking down of design and barriers and solving the most-challenging problems.

Let us help you achieve your technology wish list

So how could our capabilities, innovation, and experience help you achieve your technology wish list whilst meeting the demands of your product specification?

To find out how we can benefit you with our technology and capabilities, please get in touch with us today:

E. Enquiries@in2tec.com

T + 44 (0)1536 419200 (office hours GMT: 8.30am-5.00pm Mon-Thurs; 8.30am-2.30pm Fri)

For more information about In2tec technologies and capabilities, please visit https://www.in2tec.com/about-us

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