Fakuma 2021: KURZ presents innovative and sustainable surface solutions for plastics
Fürth/Germany, October 4, 2021: The 27th Fakuma trade fair – scheduled from October 12–16, 2021 – will once again turn Friedrichshafen, Germany, into the industry meeting point for industrial plastics processing. Under the motto ‘Making every product unique’, LEONHARD KURZ will provide INSIGHTS INTO INNOVATIVE PLASTIC SURFACE SOLUTIONS at the fair. The company presents itself as a ‘partner for future supplier challenges’ with pioneering concepts, in particular in the areas of automotive interior/exterior, consumer electronics, and home appliances. In addition, the thin-film expert will focus on its comprehensive sustainability expertise at its 120-square-meter booth (no. A4-4122) in Hall A4. “Fakuma is the world’s leading trade fair for all industries that have touch points with plastics processing. We are very pleased to be able to present the numerous highlights that we have prepared during the off-season period,” emphasizes Rainer Süßmann, Head of Business Area Plastic Decoration at LEONHARD KURZ. “We will use this important platform to make our comprehensive expertise in sustainable and forward-looking surface solutions come alive for trade fair visitors. At our stand and at our partners’ stands, a wide variety of, in some cases award-winning, exhibits are on display and live demonstrations are planned. In addition, we will provide in-depth information on KURZ’s sustainability know-how, which makes the entire spectrum of our expertise clear.”
Automotive: Solutions and components for the mobility of the future
Tomorrow’s vehicle interiors increasingly do not require any mechanical switches or buttons. More and more, the technically complex control elements are hidden behind seamlessly sealed surfaces and are only activated by touch when needed. LEONHARD KURZ is considered an expert in automotive interior design and will be presenting pioneering complete solutions from the HMI (Human Machine Interface) field at Fakuma 2021. Thanks to the efficient IMD process (In-Mold Decoration) in combination with functional In-Mold Labeling, decoration and sensor integration can be achieved in a single process step – and thus more cost-effectively than previous processes – all with a great deal of design freedom.
In order to give trade fair visitors an impression of the innovative power of LEONHARD KURZ and its subsidiaries, various demonstration samples will be used. KURZ will be presenting, among other things, an HMI concept panel at Fakuma, which only last year was honored with the Red Dot Award for outstanding product design. What’s more, the trade fair stand will feature a pioneering Overhead Console Concept, which the KURZ Group has developed in cooperation with its partner companies Osram, Syntec, and Wittmann Battenfeld. In addition to a patented series-ready in-mold electronics solution, the roof-lining console module also showcases expertise in Shy Tech design and ambient lighting with integrated logo projection. There will also be live demonstrations with a Baier hybrid machine, which enables the subsequent customization of IMD-decorated components using digital printing. The live process at the fair shows the subsequent finishing of a 3D-shaped organic component – in the form of an automotive door trim. IMD UNIFY also enables the combination of backlighting and Shy Tech effects as well as the use of touch sensors in different integration variants, for example through functional foil bonding or functional in-mold labeling. The great advantage of the new process is the durability and the excellent adhesion of the digital printing inks used on the surface of the injection-molded part.
Indium as an innovative metallization option
The presentation of new designs and real metallizations is another highlight at LEONHARD KURZ’s trade fair presentation. In addition to chrome, aluminum, and tin, the company has recently also started offering indium as a promising option. The innovative metallization variant is similar in color to that of hard chrome, but at the same time is significantly more environmentally friendly and less harmful to health than the electroplating process. Another advantage is the radar and 5G permeability of indium, which makes this metallization option interesting for many industries: For automotive manufacturers, this product feature is relevant for autonomous driving, for example when used on the exterior of modern front panels. The same applies to manufacturers of consumer electronics who want to serve the trend towards smart consumer products with antenna technology such as mobile phones, tablets, or loudspeakers, for example. In the household appliances sector, the indium-based metallization option also has great potential: For example, in the innovative panel design and highly functional control panels used in products for the smart home segment.
Automotive exterior: KURZ sets new standards for the vehicle of tomorrow
What future trends can be expected for automotive exterior design? KURZ is also addressing this question at its trade fair stand at Fakuma. The innovative front panel in a futuristic design, with which the company has set a milestone in the development of the vehicle of tomorrow and received the ABC Award 2020, is certainly particularly eye-catching. The pioneering ‘Iconic Space Grille’ was manufactured using the particularly efficient IMD DECOPUR process and meets all the requirements of the mobility of tomorrow. A closed, robust, and self-healing polyurethane surface was created for the front of the vehicle, which, on the one hand, projects the brand by means of logo integration and, on the other hand, enables visual communication of the vehicle with the environment thanks to modern and customizable LED technology backlighting effects. In terms of design, the ‘Iconic Space Grille’ boasts the entire range of design options for the car of tomorrow: From three-dimensional depth effects to metallization or coloring of the polyurethane layer, the design options are virtually boundless. LEONHARD KURZ has joined forces with its partner company Sumitomo (SHI) Demag to present another highlight for the automotive exterior design of the future. At that machine manufacturer’s stand, for example, a live production area will show how a designer logo badge for the vehicle front is created using the highly efficient ‘IMD second surface’ process, with contactless subsequent cleaning of the component.
Home appliances: Series production with highly efficient customization
Visitors interested in the home appliances segment can also see the aforementioned IMD UNIFY customization concept first-hand. In live demonstrations, an IMD-decorated washing machine panel is subsequently customized with digital printing. The particular advantages of this process are superb flexibility and cost efficiency in the manufacturing process. The production of special models or regional variants is thus possible without additional production effort and without further transport routes. This means that a wide range of customizations can be implemented for a basic design, depending on market requirements.
Consumer electronics: Pioneering product design
Possibilities for antibacterial surface finishes are gaining in importance – particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The consumer electronics sector, in particular, comprises many products that are exposed to frequent contact – such as notebooks, smartphones, or light switches. The same applies to the vehicle interior. Innovative concepts are required here to eliminate bacteria on surfaces. LEONHARD KURZ’s answer is the IMD BIOFENSE® process, first presented last year. This innovation has been added as an option to the tried and tested In-Mold Decoration (IMD) process, which can ensure an invisible antibacterial effect with a long-term result on plastic surfaces. Visitors to the Fakuma trade fair can experience the advantages of the new development for themselves at the stand of KURZ, the thin-film technology expert.
LEONHARD KURZ focuses on Life Cycle Thinking
Climate change is considered a major challenge of our time. In addition to environmentally friendly production that is as CO2 neutral as possible, energy efficiency has also become a core business task. KURZ meets THESE REQUIREMENTS with a comprehensive sustainability concept that makes saving resources and improving the life cycle assessment an important aspect of corporate management. “With our Life Cycle Thinking approach, we are committed to a holistic recycling cycle,” emphasizes Johannes Romming, Manager Innovation and Sustainability at LEONHARD KURZ. “On the one hand, we ensure the recyclability of decorated components, and, on the other hand, we have created RECOPOUND®, a solution for producing high-quality recycled pellets from production residues.” RECOPOUND® is in no way inferior to new material in terms of the wide range of decoration options, can be processed on conventional production machines and is particularly durable and robust thanks to optimized mechanical properties. The biggest advantage, however, is environmental protection. By using the recycled material, up to 40 percent CO2 can be saved compared to new material. At Fakuma, it will become clear how versatile and visually appealing RECOPOUND® products are. At the stand of KURZ partner Deckerform, watering cans and flowerpots are made from the recycled material and handed out to trade fair visitors as giveaways.
At a glance
Fakuma 2021 from October 12 – 16, 2021
LEONHARD KURZ Stiftung & Co. KG: Hall A4, Stand A4-4122
Product group: Machines and equipment for finishing, decorating, printing, and marking
Trade fair presentation focuses on: Automotive interior/exterior, consumer electronics, home appliances, sustainability