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LEONHARD KURZ at K 2019 with strong partners

Fürth/Germany, September 26, 2019: LEONHARD KURZ, together with its industry partners, will be presenting the latest developments in its decoration processes at the K 2019 plastics trade fair. At the trade fair booths of three injection molding machine manufacturers who provide the necessary high-performance machines and automation technology for these processes, there will be live demonstrations of rationalized and optimized processes for KURZ plastics decoration and sensor integration.


Five work operations in a single injection molding cycle

At the Wittmann-Battenfeld trade fair booth, the new KURZ IMD VARIOFORM decoration process will be exhibited for the first time in conjunction with the sensor technology from the KURZ subsidiary PolyIC. On a SmartPower XL 240 injection molding machine with die technology from GK Tool, a process that is both complex and efficient will be on display: A backing foil will be formed, back-injected, punched, decorated, and equipped with touch sensors in a single injection mold cycle. The design is transferred in a roll-to-roll process by IMD VARIOFORM, and the touch sensor integrated into the rear by means of a 3D insert. Also, on display for the first time will be the IMD VARIOFORM process in conjunction with single-image positioning – the decorative foil to be transferred is a single-image design that can be backlit.

A further innovative feature of this application is the back-injection of a 3D-shaped capacitive touch sensor. The plastic part that will be produced at K 2019 is a technology component with a pronounced recess in the center. The PolyTC® sensors manufactured by PolyIC are so rugged and flexible that they can be suitably shaped while still reliably retaining their functionality.


New IMD VARIOFORM decoration process also suitable for recycled materials

How plastic parts with partially recycled material can be given a high-quality appearance will be demonstrated at the Engel Austria booth. The patented IMD VARIOFORM process from KURZ, which combines forming, injection molding, decoration, and punching, will be used here to carry out high-quality decoration of components containing recycled content. The entire recycling process will be illustrated at the Engel booth. Recycled plastic from old parts will be mixed with new material, and the mixture then simultaneously processed into new plastic parts decorated by IMD VARIOFORM in an Engel victory 1060/300 injection molding machine. The 3D components demonstrate how even complicated geometries can be decorated in the roll-to-roll process.

The material processed also has a unique characteristic: the plastic has been foamed using MuCell technology. This makes the component lighter, enables the design of the component to be simplified, and produces a perfect finish without sink marks. This application by KURZ illustrates how the single-step process for decorating complex shaped components can be flexibly combined with lightweight construction and recycling technologies.


IMD process for large single images

At the K booth of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, the latest developments in the IMD process will be on display and KURZ will present a multi-integration technique for PolyTC® sensors. Backlightable single images measuring over 900 millimeters in length will be produced using IMD technology on a brand new fully electric IntElect 500t injection molding machine. KURZ has selected this extraordinary size to illustrate the broad range of designs that can be produced using the latest IMD technology. Thanks to the large tie bar spacing of the new IntElect machine, large molds such as this can be accommodated on the 5,000 kN machine. The component to be decorated is a concept cover for an HMI (Human Machine Interface) instrument panel for the automotive sector with a touchscreen and touch panel. Transparent PolyTC® sensors will be applied to the rear of the touchscreen using the IML process during injection molding. How the display and control panel of the component produced at the Sumitomo (SHI) Demag booth can be equipped with realistic touchscreen functions will be illustrated at the KURZ booth by means of an HMI demonstrator.

Another method of integrating sensors – FFB (Functional Foil Bonding) – will be exhibited at the KURZ booth. In this case a PolyTC® sensor is manually applied to a home appliance control panel using FFB in a separate work operation. The home appliance cover, which was injection molded by the company Eder Siebdruck Kunststoffverarbeitung and decorated with an IMD single image, illustrates the possibilities that KURZ has developed for automated sensor integration. The sensor technology presented provides a flexible basis for implementing home appliances with an HMI operation concept.

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