“All the products and processes that we show in the automotive sector at K 2022 are strongly geared towards megatrends such as e-mobility and autonomous driving,” emphasizes Rainer Süssmann, head of the plastic decoration business area at Leonhard Kurz. “At the leading trade fair, we want to make our extensive know-how about future-oriented surface and component solutions for the exterior and interior areas tangible. The combined skills within our group of companies enable comprehensive advice and the development of comprehensive solutions.” Technologies and solutions from several KURZ subsidiaries play a major role at K 2022. These include surfaces with shy-tech designs from BURG DESIGN, integrated, wafer-thin touch sensors from PolyIC and the innovative tooling and process technology from Schöfer GmbH. In addition, innovative heat embossing machines from BAIER will be shown, which make it possible to equip surfaces with high-efficiency sensor technology (In-Mold Electronics IME) directly in the injection molding process and to decorate them directly in injection molding using IMD UNIFY. In addition, several exhibits will be produced, refined or equipped with touch functions at the booths of various partner companies as part of live demonstrations.
Below are some of the fair highlights from KURZ:
Live production of an external component on the stand
The expert for innovative plastic surface solutions from Fürth will produce a back application (back cover) including touch controls and backlight live on site on an ENGEL injection molding machine at its own stand. Two different plastic materials in the component ensure both transparency and stability and thus create optimal conditions for use as, for example, a rear-mounted technical element. The perfectly matched plastic components do not affect recyclability, but can be returned to the circuit as a composition. “The innovative one-step process enables the creation of three different design areas in one step. In addition, the use of different foil surfaces ensures a high degree of design variability with a wide range of backlight effects – for example, for individual 3D light effects in the rear light area or integrated touch control. In addition, this production process is very efficient and thus reduces CO2the emissions are significant,” explains Martin Hahn, Head of Application, Technology & Innovation in the plastic decoration business area at LEONHARD KURZ. “With our in-depth know-how in process and tool technology, we cover the areas of decoration, function and process technology holistically in this innovative production.” Corresponding sensors are installed in the exhibited demonstrator of the rear application.
E-charging station with smart touch function
Through the use of various consistent finishing processes, KURZ technologies offer a wide range of customer-specific variants in the design and manufacturing process. An example of this is the forward-looking wall box whose functional front panel will be produced live in the IMD process at the partner stand of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag. With partial lighting and optional integration of sensors and display, the e-charging station demonstrates the possibilities of designing smart charging technology in electromobility. Particularly innovative: There will be an augmented reality demonstration of the product concept at the KURZ stand. Visitors can use an app to select different designs and finishing techniques and then receive a virtual representation of the individualized wall box in the area.
Collaboration between KURZ and the lighting expert MENTOR
Together with MENTOR, the specialist for integrated lighting solutions, KURZ has optimized the combination of lighting technology and surface decoration in such a way that lighting design can now be implemented without color changes. Thanks to a proven RGB algorithm, company-specific CI colors can be used in components with full color reproduction. Light and surface design merge into an innovative, futuristic design with fantastic effects and a high degree of customization. Thanks to several brightness levels, designs can be implemented with impressive depth. In addition, moving motifs are possible, which become a very special eye-catcher. Due to the reduced use of LEDs and the lower application of paint required, resource use is much more efficient and CO2-Emissions lower than with conventional processes. “With KURZ and MENTOR, two experts bring together their many years of experience and professional skills. Our customers benefit from perfectly coordinated, efficient solutions with rapid design development and implementation as well as reliable technologies according to the latest standards,” says Rainer Süssmann, Head of Business Area Plastic Decoration at Leonhard Kurz.
Emblem design for tomorrow’s vehicles
Components for the autonomous car of the future are, among other things, radar-compatible and 5G-compatible. At K 2022, KURZ presents an exterior component in the form of an automotive design badge for the front or rear of the vehicle. The emblem, produced using the IMD (In-Mold Decoration) process, can be color-matched according to the customer’s specifications; Indium metallization ensures effective surface finishes and represents a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to electroplating. The component solutions from KURZ offer a range of designs and functions that, thanks to higher transparency for backlighting than competing processes, are practically unlimited. Compared to competing processes such as painting, the IMD process is significantly more economical and environmentally friendly. The injection molding process and the decoration process are combined in a single highly efficient work step, which not only saves cost and time, but also intensive CO2-Reduction leads. The IMD process also enables the component to be recycled.
Smart Crystal Panel in collaboration with Swarovski Mobility
“Making every product unique” – KURZ has also achieved this with the Smart Crystal Panel, which was developed in collaboration with Swarovski Mobility and the KURZ subsidiaries BURG DESIGN and PolyIC. The HMI (Human-Machine Interface) component has won the “Special Mention” award in the Automotive Brand Contest 2022 in the “Mobility & Innovation – Smart & Digital” category. It not only visually enhances the interior of cars in the luxury segment, but also offers smart functionality for intuitive operation. The competences of the solution partners complement each other perfectly: Design and decoration technology from BURG DESIGN with Shy-Tech function, highly transparent sensor technology from the KURZ subsidiary PolyIC and hand-made, touch-activated crystals from Swarovski. The PMD (Print Mold Design) process has resulted in a component that brings real glamor to the vehicle interior through different variants with color coordinated crystals. The crystals inspire not only with their depth effect and reflections, but also with their unusual, exciting feel. The background lighting and holographic effects of the crystals using inserted pictograms also visually enhance the cockpit. In addition, the design freedom – including day-night design, different lighting and color effects, sustainable metallization based on indium and real carbon looks – is almost unlimited.
Metal combinations for new decoration possibilities
KURZ also presents a development innovation that enables unprecedented metallization designs with different color variations and gradients. The combination of copper with chromium, indium or tin and the reaction of the respective metals with each other results in a completely new design with an extraordinary patina effect. The innovative metallization designs from KURZ are suitable for various processes and can be both 3D shaped and backlit. Further upgrades are in the form of shy-tech features, haptic and matte gloss effects as well as KURZ BIOFENSE® (long-term antibacterial hygiene protection) possible. The proven KURZ thin film technology preserves the reusability of the components and, together with possible recycling as raw material, results in a truly sustainable product.
At first glance
K 2022 from 19 to 26 October 2022
Leonhard Kurz Foundation & Co. KG: Hall 5, Stand A19
Product group: machines and equipment for finishing, decoration, printing and labeling
Focal points of the trade show presence: automotive interior/exterior, consumer electronics, home appliances, sustainability