K 2022: LEONHARD KURZ presents smart, customizable, and sustainable decorations for household appliances
Fürth/Germany, September 19, 2022: ‘Making every product unique’ - That’s the theme under which LEONHARD KURZ will be presenting groundbreaking plastic surface solutions for the home appliances sector at K 2022 from October 19 to 26 in Düsseldorf. At the world's largest plastics industry trade fair, the finishing experts from Fürth will make the latest trends in industrial plastics processing visible and tangible for the household sector. Visitors to Stand A19 in Hall 5 can see for themselves how attractive design and the highest level of functionality merge into one unit. KURZ’s innovative processes and complete solutions enable a high degree of customization with multifaceted finishing of the surfaces as well as the integration of backlighting and touch functions. “In Düsseldorf, trade fair visitors can discover how highly efficient and individual HMI user interfaces can be created and discover designs that create wow effects. The familiar gray and white of household appliances is a thing of the past,” says Nick Wagner, Head of Business Area Plastic Decoration Sales and Marketing at LEONHARD KURZ. KURZ presents illustrative examples in the form of various touch-operated front panels as well as visionary design concepts for the body and portholes of washing machines, which were specially designed for the trade fair presentation.
Customization meets smart decoration technology
The washing machine panels on display at the KURZ stand show the wide range of customization and backlighting options that can be implemented using IMD technology and In-Mold Electronics (IME). While the black top layer creates a Shy Tech effect with a dark surface when switched off, the integrated functions are revealed at a second glance. This is made possible by touch sensors from KURZ subsidiary PolyIC, which are used both as touch screen sensors in front of display elements and as individually writable touch key sensors. In the latter, a diffuser layer can also be cost-effectively integrated directly into the sensor structure. This eliminates the need for light-diffusing plastic inserts for homogeneous illumination of symbols or characters on the user interface. In addition, these sensors can be equipped with light-blocking and laserable decorations. With this technology, various symbols and national languages can be customized using lasers at the end of the process chain and right before installation. By reducing the number of integration steps, the stringent requirements for the positional accuracy of such control units are met.
Smart homes, artificial intelligence, minimalism, and, above all, customization are all on trend. With KURZ’s innovative processes, there are virtually no limits when it comes to the design of household appliances. IMD UNIFY can be used to implement logos, photo-realistic motifs and personalized lettering or language versions in small quantities or special edition series in a highly efficient manner. In production, the basic decoration is created in series using the economical IMD process and can be subsequently customized via digital printing - always taking into account the stringent specification requirements of the home appliance industry.
Live demo at K 2022
Visitors to K 2022 can experience live what is possible thanks to thin-film technology, high-quality finishings, new materials, and integrated sensor technology. KURZ will be demonstrating live on-site customization via IMD UNIFY and integration of touch sensors via Functional Foil Bonding (FFB) in a combined process on a BINSPIRE machine from BAIER. The solution enables high-resistance IMD decors to be digitally overprinted with UV coating systems at a later point in time using KURZ’s IMD UNIFY process. BAIER BINSPIRE thus combines hot-stamping decoration with digital printing and is unique on the market. The material used is Clearlux® from the INEOS Styrolution Group. The polymer is easy to process and is characterized by its perfect adhesion. This ensures an excellent connection between the KURZ decoration, the PolyTC® sensors, and the backlighting on the rear.
The great design freedom will also be evident at K 2022 in the form of various washing machine door designs with metallization. The finishing enables effects with a high recognition value and, in contrast to electroplating based on chromium VI, can be implemented not only on full surfaces, but also partial areas. KURZ chrome metallization also saves time and costs, as the hot stamping process used here is much more environmentally friendly and efficient in production - even for small quantities. When it comes to metallization, KURZ relies on many years of expertise in the automotive sector, thus enabling part chrome metallization that is perfectly tailored to customer requirements, even in the home appliance industry. It is also REACH-compliant, low-emission, and recyclable.
Design and functionality merge to create a successful product
Thanks to almost unlimited customization options and visually appealing decorations, technical devices will increasingly become integrated furnishings in the future. KURZ will be presenting three approaches at K 2022, in which this trend has been impressively implemented: Innovative control panel solutions as well as inspiring front and ring designs for the washing machines of tomorrow. All components allow for multifaceted finishing of the surfaces.
At a glance
K 2022 from October 19-26, 2022
LEONHARD KURZ Stiftung & Co. KG: Hall 5, Stand A19
Product group: Machines and equipment for finishing, decorating, printing, and marking
Trade fair presentation focuses on: Automotive interior/exterior, consumer electronics, home appliances, sustainability