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IML decoration technology

Front with decor. Rear with sensor integration. Both completed in parallel

If you want to produce smarter, you need to continuously streamline or combine your processes. Only in this way can new standards be set for efficiency and profitability. With IML decoration, LEONHARD KURZ is able to offer you a process that meets this standard perfectly. IML is short for Inmold Labeling. This high-quality and fully automated form of sensor integration can be perfectly combined in one machine with IMD, the Inmold Decoration technology from KURZ. In one tool, control panels and capacitive surfaces can be equipped in one step with the most exquisite decor on the front and firmly integrated touch sensors for versatile functionality on the rear.

IML Decoration – technical details at a glance

The high-performance IML decoration technology from KURZ helps you to bundle two crucial and frequently still separate production steps. In the video, you can see the parallel progress of the two processing stages. And if you are considering automation for your company: its potential is high to very high!

  • On one side of the tool, the decorative coating and design for the front side of the control panel is positioned in the front cavity

  • At the same time, the metal mesh label with PolyTC® sensors is inserted into the opposite cavity

  • Then the tool closes

  • Next, a plastic injection molding process controlled by precisely metered heat and exact pressure occurs, which completely molds the final component. In this process step, the decor is transferred firmly and in excellent visual quality to the front

  • At the same time, the plastic and the transparent sensor substrate are fused on the rear side. To make this technical step possible with reliable functionality of the touch sensors, KURZ has developed a special formulation. This not only optimizes the stable connection of the materials, but also ensures that the sensors are permanently sealed, which is important for perfect functioning even in adverse environmental conditions

 

When it comes to shaping your product batches, 2D to 3D are possible. Decorative coatings can also be applied to inserts. With this process, you also have the option to only perform the sensor integration and forego adding a design on the front.

Aesthetics and extended user benefits seamlessly molded into plastic material

When developing the IML decoration process, the technical specialists at KURZ focused on typical application scenarios. First and foremost, they wanted to design a compact process for the mass production of premium control panels. Beautifully designed control, switching, and monitoring elements for automobiles, home appliances, and mobile communications applications are thus just as feasible as innumerable other operating sectors, for example for consumer electronics.

On the visible and finished top layer of plastic surfaces, innovative design is shown in every conceivable variant. Sensors with high capacitive capabilities, which can be operated by targeted touch control, are integrated on the back. The functionality of the sensors is precisely aligned, and the most diverse wishes of users are executed intuitively and precisely.

Your most creative ideas are aesthetically and functionally realizable

Consumers and markets want to be seduced with ever more valuable and more extraordinary products. Sensitive control panels, intuitive console elements, touch functions integrated deep in the device, and touch sensors activated via proximity sensors are already indispensable for tomorrow’s commercial success in many industries. An attractive front decoration - available in many variations - creates particularly aesthetic surfaces for the integrated sensors. This can be achieved in production with the Inmold Decoration (IMD) process from KURZ.

If you don’t want your control panels to be opaque but magically lit, this is also possible thanks to the highly transparent sensors on the back. Illumination can make the operation and control of your new products even more creative and unique. Day-and-night ambience lighting, light/dark adjustments or multi-color and intensity changes, partial or fully radiolucent designs, or feature panels with advanced functionalities: KURZ gives you a choice between these and many other extraordinary solutions.

Your qualified partner for technical implementation

Competence, creativity, long-standing experience, and a strong degree of specialization characterize KURZ as your partner for a complete technological package. As the world market leader in coating technology, we are there if you want to use the IML decoration process combined with IMD Inmold Decoration - fully automated in your own plant.

Our customer-friendly full service starts with prudent, expert advice. The decisive factor is not just adapting your existing injection molding tools and integrating the new machine cell into your production line; you also need the ideal starting materials in the form of the extremely thin KURZ surface coatings, as well as the PolyTC® sensors from our subsidiary PolyIC, which consist of transparent metal mesh structures. Our aim is to accompany you on this journey, full steam ahead!

With a comparably low investment and a considerable increase in efficiency, especially for medium to high production runs, positive effects for your value chain and your market position can be achieved.

Contact

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.

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