Functional Foil Bonding (FFB) technology is an evolution of the proven hot stamping process, which market leader LEONHARD KURZ has been offering for decades. This novel technology is currently patent pending. As with hot stamping, the physical parameters of heat and pressure are also utilized in the process. On 2-dimensional surfaces of differently shaped plastic parts you can apply the desired design. KURZ has consistently developed this proven technology in close cooperation with its subsidiaries BAIER and Hinderer+Mühlich (H+M) over the last couple of years. In particular, first-class coating components have been developed and refined. This gives hot stamping a completely new dimension. So you can realise entirely new product concepts. And you will gain unlimited inspirations for design and branding. For value perception as well as for the attractiveness for your customers. For efficiency as well as for rapidly developing new product concepts.
With Functional Foil Bonding (FFB) there is a choice between two process variants. Which of the two processes is more advantageous in production depends on the geometry and size of the component as well as the integrated sensor functions. For large displays KURZ has developed a new rolling technology with which even sensors of roughly eight-inches can be perfectly integrated.
In vertical stamping, the molded plastic part is first fully automatically inserted into the machine. In a second step, a PET substrate with silver-based metal mesh structures is layered over it with high precision. These functional structures are characterized by high mechanical flexibility and can thus be used with bent and arched components. As the processed sensors are highly transparent, they are ideal for display applications. Due to the fully automatic heatable die which moves up and down, the two material components are seamlessly connected.
In Functional Foil Bonding with roller embossing, the molded plastic element that already features the design is precisely positioned on a material substrate in the machine before the highly sensitive sensors are applied with pinpoint accuracy. As a result, a heatable embossing wheel lowers precisely over the two elements and ensures perfect connection through optimum pressure and precisely metered heating.
With Functional Foil Bonding (FFB) by KURZ, highly conductive and transparent PolyTC® touch sensors from our subsidiary PolyIC can be applied to finished plastic parts extremely efficiently for medium-sized and large production runs; this also applies to parts with 3D-shaped surfaces. In addition to their high functionality and outstanding transmission, these sensors are characterized by clear, true-color radiolucency of the entire touch surface. In contrast to sensor integration using the Inmold Labeling technology (IML), this process step is not directly integrated in the injection molding process. However, it can be set up to immediately follow this production step. Our technology helps you to produce efficiently and to create highly functional plastic surfaces that are extremely durable. Additional surface finishes are possible, for example with pictograms for labeling later user interfaces.
As a method for sensor integration, FFB is also clearly superior to alternatives such as the established Optical Clear Adhesive (OCA) process. As the automotive industry's climate change tests show in complex specification testing, adhesion of the OCA glue can be lost. In addition, this process can lead to blistering and hence functional restrictions in the connection of the components. Such limitations are a thing of the past when using Functional Foil Bonding (FFB).
More and more companies recognize the enormous potential that results from integrating comfortable touch functions into high-quality plastic surfaces. Thus, avant-garde designs can be created in cars, for example, with seamlessly closed dashboards, gesture-based controls, and decors in changing day-night lighting. Surprisingly effective backlighting can be created with a dead-front design. Light colors can change spectacularly, and functions on decorative strips can be activated via touch buttons or sliders. In many other areas, such as electrical household appliances, sensors can significantly increase user comfort, for example, through intuitive operation. Just think of consumer electronics, refrigerators, cookers, or washing machines that boast entirely new, futuristic designs with hidden control panels and features called up via hand gestures as if by magic. Shifting and combining traditional controls, knobs, switches and controllers into a compact display with integrated PolyTC® sensors opens up endless possibilities for industrial sectors: not least easy-to-clean surfaces that can be seamlessly integrated into the environment and ensure hygiene through simple wiping.
With Functional Foil Bonding (FFB) technology, LEONHARD KURZ has created an innovative process that allows you to integrate sensors fully mechanically. The FFB machine is available through our subsidiary BAIER. The machine package includes the complete handling system with coating technology, feed technology, and tools. The system integrates seamlessly with your existing component production lines and can be operated by you in inline or offline mode. On request, they can also achieve a high level of automation and, in this way, realize unprecedented potential for efficiency, cost savings, and economy in the series integration of sensors.
One of our strengths is the consultation on the product together with the customer. Our team of qualified specialists develops suitable solutions for your surfaces. Contact us now and let us inform, advise and inspire you.