Materials developer Integral Technologies Inc.'s conductive ElectriPlast-brand polymers are finding their way into vehicles as the global auto industry embraces electric vehicles.
"It is a big deal for a small company to have a material going into automotive around the world," CEO Doug Bathauer said. "Our goal as a company is to take that [success] and leverage it," providing proprietary intellectual property rights and issued patents to end users through licensing, joint ventures and material production.
"We have fully commercialized long-fiber ElectriPlast for shielding applications," he said. Automotive's need for lightweight parts is a key driver in favor of using electrically and thermally conductive resin-based ElectriPlast pellets.
The Evansville, Ind.-based firm has fulfilled five orders for a North American Tier 1 supplier's start-up production for an all-electric luxury sport utility vehicle from a European carmaker. For this customer, Integral shipped the material for an electromagnetic-interference-shielded connector "to three different countries where the assembly will take place," Bathauer said.
Separately, Integral is working with a Tier 1 supplier to a U.S.-based auto manufacturer on a program for an EMI-shielded optical sensing application. Production may begin in late 2017.
"The Tier 1 has multiple customers who need the exact same components," Bathauer said.
Integral is "seeing more demand and interest from Europe than anywhere else on the electric vehicle side," he said. An order may start at a Tier 1 supplier in North America, but 90 percent of the time delivery occurs in Asia or Europe. It is "different on smaller orders for Fisker in North America."
Integral is pursuing opportunities on autonomous vehicles with LeddarTech Inc. of Quebec City and Delphi Automotive plc of Gillingham, England. In addition, LeddarTech is exploring use of ElectriPlast in drones.
On July 6, accounting firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP of Chicago resigned as Integral's accounting firm. Integral hired a replacement, British Columbia-based Dale Matheson Carr-Hilton Labonte LLP, on Aug. 18. The transition has delayed Integral's 10-K filing for the fiscal year ended June 30. Bathauer apologized for being late. The change should provide Integral with "roughly $50,000 in annual savings" that he said "is significant for us."
Integral paid Baker Tilly $108,427 for professional services for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016, and $87,290 in the previous fiscal year. Integral stock trades on the over-the-counter market.
Founded in 1996, the firm is working to improve its cost structure though debt reduction as its operations transition into the commercial phase.
"We've always been an underfunded micro-cap company for the past 20 years," Bathauer said in an Oct. 12 conference call. Integral has not generated significant sales since its inception.