Case study

Makrolon® polycarbonate unlocks touch-controlled home security

Owners of vehicles with touch-enabled entry technology can open their car door just by touching the sensor on the door handle, as long as they have their key fob. In collaboration with Covestro and molded electronics specialist TactoTek, PassiveBolt brought this technology to the home.
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Shepherd Lock is a simple add-on that allows homeowners to keep their existing lockset and keys, while converting it into a touch-activated device. (Photo credit: PassiveBolt)

Create a touch-controlled smart lock

PassiveBolt set out to create the Shepherd Lock—a device that allows users to lock and unlock their door both inside and outside with a simple touch. This product uses a patent-pending combination of sensors and artificial intelligence to actively monitor a user’s home day and night. It can detect lock picking or tampering attempts, automatically freeze the deadbolt into a locked position in response, and notify the homeowner immediately through a secure mobile app. The app also allows homeowners to manage home access, share electronic keys, view access history and remotely control the lock. 

Meet design and performance requirements

When designing the Shepherd Lock, PassiveBolt needed to create a very small footprint while incorporating cutting-edge electronics. Additionally, the company worked to overcome the design constraints (e.g., size) while maintaining aesthetic and performance requirements, such as color, finish and impact resistance.


Makrolon® polycarbonate and IMSE™ technology: A smart duo

PassiveBolt chose Makrolon® polycarbonate for the lock’s silver enclosure, black face plate and all plastic parts. The cover plate is mounted on the inside of the home’s door over the existing deadbolt and snaps on magnetically. TactoTek’s injection molded structural electronics (IMSE™) technology, which leverages Makrolon® polycarbonate, was used for the Shepherd Lock’s smart cover. This IMSE part is a cosmetic surface that provides both structure and electronic functions. 

We have been working with this technology for years in various applications and have proven that Makrolon® polycarbonate is an extremely reliable material for IMSE––delivering the three critical elements of cosmetic durability, long-term functional performance and manufacturability.

Joel Matsco

Senior marketing manager, Polycarbonates – Electrical, Electronics and Appliance,Covestro

Why Makrolon® polycarbonate and IMSE™ technology were right for PassiveBolt

  • Sophisticated functions IMSE tech enables the addition of electronic functions to light, thin 3D parts
  • New design options IMSE tech allows designers to deliver high-value, differentiated user experiences
  • Reliability  Makrolon® polycarbonate delivers cosmetic durability, long-term functional performance and manufacturability

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