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In-Mold Electronics

Decoration and functionality in a single process step

If you want to produce smarter, you need to continuously condense or combine your processes. Only in this way can new standards be set for efficiency and profitability. In-Mold Electronics (IME) lives up to this claim. This high-quality and fully automated form of sensor integration can be perfectly combined in one machine with IMD, the In-Mold Decoration technology from KURZ. In this way, sophisticated components with a decoration and a capacitive surface, which can be operated intuitively via touch control, can be created in a single process.

In-Mold Electronics – technical details at a glance

With IME from KURZ, you bundle two crucial and often still separate production steps. In the video, you can monitor 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 later front side of the control panel is positioned on the substrate
  • At the same time, the metal mesh label with the PolyTC® sensor is inserted into the opposite cavity 
  • Then the tool closes
  • Next, a plastic injection molding process controlled by precisely metered heat and precise pressure starts, 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 lifetime functionality of the touch sensors, KURZ has developed a special technique. 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 formats are possible. With this process, you also have the choice to only perform the sensor integration and forego a design on the front.

Aesthetics and extended user benefits are seamlessly cast into the plastic

When developing the IME decoration, 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 automobileshousehold appliances, and mobile communications applications are thus just as feasible as innumerable other operating elements, 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 can be implemented with maximum efficiency

Consumers and markets want to be seduced with ever more valuable and more extraordinary products. Sensitive control panels, intuitive console elements, and touch functions that are 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. KURZ’s IMD process is ideal for this purpose in production.  Even if you don’t want your control panels to be opaque but have light shine through, this is also possible thanks to the highly transparent sensors on the back. Backlighting can make the operation and control of your new products even more creative and unique. Day-and-night ambient 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.

Sustainability - factored in from the outset

We take responsibility for the use of our natural resources. Improve your lifecycle assessment with highly efficient process technology from KURZ!

Your sustainability benefits with KURZ at a glance:

  • Recycled materials can be used without any problems and can be just as perfectly finished with KURZ technologies as new materials
  • Our processes and machines can be integrated into your value chain in the most efficient way
  • The decorations don’t affect the recyclability of your products
  • PolyTC® sensors are recyclable

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 functional IML integration 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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