Leonhard Kurz of Fürth, Germany, is introducing several new ways to decorate molded plastic parts.
In one example, overmolded composite parts are in-mold decorated, replacing expensive lacquering and polishing processes. The one-step process using foil was developed in collaboration with machine builder Engel and Bond Laminates, a specialist in composites.
The mold technology requires perfect bonding of the Tepex composite and plastic material. Injection molds had to be developed that would ensure a stable injection molding and coating process. A special foil-feeding unit was also developed.
In a separate development, Kurz has developed systems to manufacture decorated plastic components with embedded sensors.
According to Kurz, plastic parts have predominantly been manually equipped with sensors using expensive OCA (optically clear adhesives). Integration processes developed by Kurz are said to enable sensors to be applied very quickly and economically by machine.
In another example, automotive plastic components can be lit at night or piano black during the day.