Lightweight plastics composites are in increasing demand for automotive uses
by Liz White, editor
KraussMaffei AG launched its ColorForm in-mould coating process, — “an absolute world premier,” during K 2010.
The Munich-based machinery maker says the process gives parts a high-gloss surface inside the mould, in a one-shot process that can be used for mass production.
This also shows off a core strength of KraussMaffei: technology that can combine several processes into one to make plastic parts.
At the show KraussMaffei was moulding an ABS briefcase with a soft-touch surface of thermoplastic polyurethane, finished with a high-gloss blue coating . A RimStar Nano metering system applies the PU coating inside the mould.
ColorForm can replace conventional painting, including extra pre- and post-painting, said KraussMaffei board member Frank Peters, in a 27 Oct news conference at the exhibition.
Peters also noted that the company’s order books are full, in a period where its customers are struggling to meet cut-throat demands from the automotive sector and there is high cost pressure from all sides. In this atmosphere, innovations offered by KraussMaffei to raise efficiency and cut development time, are in high demand, he said.
Figures for the year ending 30 Sept 2010 show Krauss-Maffei’s sales (provisionally) up 2 percent over the previous year at €754 million, with orders 35 percent up at €869 million, said ceo Dietmar Straub.