Lear Corp., a global automotive technology company in Southfield, is the lead investor for the Series C round of financing in CelLink Corp., a San Carlos, Calif.-based manufacturer of a new class of flat and flexible circuits.
With simplified designs, automated production and handling, and optimized electrical and thermal performance, CelLink’s technology is expected to be a key enabler for electrified and software-defined vehicles offering zero-emission transportation, driver assist technologies, customized comfort options, advanced user experiences, and more.
One application of the technology is being deployed in EV battery packs that house a bank of cells together with hundreds of parts and connections. CelLink’s solution integrates busing, fusing, voltage monitoring, and temperature monitoring wiring systems into a single circuit — a feature that reduces the cost of battery technologies and may increase the rate of adoption of EVs.
This is accomplished with zero design-specific tooling, allowing for instantaneous and virtually capital-free design changes — a benefit in an increasingly just-in-time manufacturing world.
Outside of the battery module, CelLink says it is boosting its capabilities to mass produce flat and flexible circuits for smaller packaging footprints, including a new product, co-designed with Lear, that will be incorporated into an EV from a global automotive manufacturer launching in 2021.
“Since our initial investment in 2019, we have been encouraged by CelLink’s progress in developing a high value, differentiated wiring harness technology while reducing materials, packaging and weight,” says John Absmeier, chief technology officer at Lear. “We see opportunities to expand Lear’s E-Systems business and take a leadership role in flat flexible circuit technology and connection systems by continuing to partner with and invest in CelLink.”
CelLink’s products are designed to reduce wire harness weight by more than 70 percent and volume by more than 90 percent relative to existing wiring technologies. In addition to improving vehicle range by reducing weight, CelLink’s flat and flexible circuits offer a non-chemical production process and a less metal-intensive product design.
“This marks a significant milestone in our next phase of growth as we strive to provide a new class of lightweight power and data interconnection technology to the automotive industry, with the goals of enabling electrification and addressing climate change,” says Kevin Coakley, CEO of CelLink. “Lear’s financial support and customer relationships in the automotive industry are a valuable resource for our company.”