German Design Award: LEONHARD KURZ recognized for innovative automotive front panel
Fürth/Germany, December 12, 2023: At the German Design Award 2024, the automotive front panel from LEONHARD KURZ was awarded a ‘Special Mention for Front Design.’ The innovative component successfully celebrated its premiere at the IAA Mobility event in Munich in September 2023 and later also impressed the trade audience at FAKUMA in Friedrichshafen. KURZ received the award in the category ‘Excellent Product Design - Automotive Parts and Accessories.’ Rainer Süßmann, Executive Senior Vice President of Business Area Plastic Decoration, explains: “The German Design Award enjoys an excellent international reputation. We are delighted to receive this award, as it underlines the fact that our decorative and functional surfaces are in tune with the times. We are proud that we are actively shaping change in the automotive industry through future-driven, sustainable production technologies.”
IMD technology: Design and functionality for the vehicles of tomorrow
The increasingly important topics of electromobility, autonomous driving, connected vehicles, and sustainable mobility are also changing the requirements for new vehicle components. The cutting-edge technology of self-driving cars is primarily hidden behind innovatively decorated front components, which are increasingly becoming the central brand element of a vehicle. This is precisely the aim of the design concept from finishing specialist KURZ. Despite impressive dimensions (W x H x D: 1,130 x 290 x 160 mm), the front panel is manufactured and finished using the most advanced In-Mold Decoration (IMD) in just one single work step. The smooth, connected surface is radar/LiDAR permeable and therefore perfectly suitable for the vehicles of tomorrow.
The front panel from Fürth also illustrates the diverse design possibilities of IMD technology in combination with hybrid technologies such as laser ablation (laser removal of coating areas), hot stamping, or digital printing. In this example, the component is made translucent by laser engraving - lettering and logos then create unmistakable brand statements. Backlighting effects are not only used for customization but also for communication with other road users. In addition to many decoration options such as day-night designs, different colors and animations for actions such as flashing, braking, or loading can also be implemented. The front end is recyclable as a complete component and is made from a polycarbonate base.
On request, the front cover can be equipped with an extremely resistant, self-healing DECOPUR® surface. In combination with a crystalline high-gloss finish, this creates an extremely resistant surface with fantastic depth effects that perfectly accentuate the decorations underneath. This demonstrator component was implemented as part of a development project with the company Samvardhana Motherson Peguform (SMP). Interested parties can find further information about the front panel on the KURZ website.
Renowned design competition
The German Design Award recognizes innovative products and projects from various fields of design, including product and communication design, architecture, and interior design. The jury consists of experts from various design fields who evaluate the submissions according to criteria such as design quality, degree of innovation, functionality, and sustainability. The award is intended to highlight the importance of design for the economy and to recognize innovative and high-quality design achievements. The German Design Award was initiated by the German Design Council, an independent and international foundation dedicated to promoting design and brand values.