Lear Leads Latest Investment Round in Flexible Circuit Maker CelLink


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Lear Corporation, a global automotive technology leader in Seating and E-Systems, announced that it is the lead investor for the Series C round of financing in CelLink Corporation, a San Carlos, CA-based manufacturer of a new class of flat and flexible circuits that minimize complexity, space and weight. 

With simplified designs, automated production and handling, and optimized electrical and thermal performance, CelLink's technology is 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 this technology is being deployed in electric vehicle (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 – an important feature that is reducing the cost of battery technologies and increasing the rate of adoption of EVs. 

This is accomplished with zero design-specific tooling, allowing for instantaneous and virtually capital-free design changes – a powerful benefit in an increasingly just-in-time manufacturing world.

Outside of the battery module, CelLink is boosting its capabilities to mass produce flat and flexible circuits that offer class-leading performance in 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," said John Absmeier, Lear Chief Technology Officer. "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 reduce wire harness weight by more than 70% and volume by more than 90% relative to existing wiring technologies. In addition to improving vehicle range by reducing weight, CelLink's flat and flexible circuits offer other environmental benefits, including 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," said CelLink CEO Kevin Coakley. "Lear's financial support and customer relationships in the automotive industry are a valuable resource for our company."

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