NO. 7: In an interesting display of automation, molded parts combining two different decorative finishes and two types of plastic were produced by Sumitomo (SHI) Demag in one injection mold with two workstations. The integrated  process cuts labor costs and allows cost-effective use of traditionally expensive decorative looks, such as a chrome look finish or day and night designs for automotive interiors, consumer goods or consumer electronics.

The mold technology was developed by HBW-Gubesch Kunststoff-Engineering GmbH, patent pending. Both cavities of a mold with two workstations are equipped with one unit for in-mold decoration (IMD) and with various IMD design foils by Leonhard Kurz Stiftung & Co. KG. The first station is served with decor A by the main injection unit, the second one is served with decor B by the ancillary unit.

The horizontal main injection unit provides a PC/ABS blend from Bayer MaterialScience. The second injection unit (set up in a piggyback position above the other unit) provides transparent ABS from BASF.

The first cavity forms an ashtray cover with a basic decorative finish. After the preform has been transferred to the second cavity via a 6-axis robot by Kuka Roboter GmbH, another decor is applied to the surface while overpacking on the rear integrates additional functions. The integrated manufacturing cell including conveyor belt, brushing station and production under cleanroom conditions of class 10,000 offers high levels of flexibility in terms of change of decors, and an excellent cost-benefit ratio.

About Doug Smock

Former Chief Editor at Plastics World and Senior Technical Editor Design News
Automotive, Consumer Goods, Electronics, Europe, In-Mold Decorating, Two-Shot , , , , ,

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