Leonhard Kurz presents new methods of plastics decoration and sensor integration at Fakuma


Seamless automotive cockpits controllable by touch or gestures, household appliances with a stylish dead front look and hidden control panel, plain surface finishes that reveal mood-setting backlit designs when approached – Leonhard Kurz (Fürth, Germany) will be presenting latest generation HMI applications at Fakuma. Visitors to the Kurz booth will be able to see a comprehensive range of surface decoration solutions, sensor technologies, and industrial sensor integration applications that offer scope for innovative HMI design and functionality.

Kurz will be demonstrating, for the first time ever, the FFB (Functional Foil Bonding) sensor integration process on a machine that was recently developed by its subsidiary Baier. This method enables touch sensors to be integrated into plastic components by fully mechanised means. The process can be connected directly to the injection mould. The FFB machine can be integrated into component production lines, and can operate in both inline or offline mode. The FFB operation can be performed by machine operators or, to a large extent, automated, thereby providing a never-before-seen ability to cost-effectively integrate sensors in serial production. This integration solution also has advantages over conventional methods in regard to durability, which will help achieve the stringent requirements of industry.

Kurz has developed top coats that are highly resistant to a wide variety of influences, for example abrasion, scratches, chemicals and UV radiation. Visitors to the Fakuma booth will be able to see coatings that have also been tailored to the specific requirements of HMI surfaces. These novel coatings ensure easy, distortion-free readability of control panels and displays from various viewing angles and under different lighting conditions. Top coats with customer-specific features can also be produced: for high-gloss displays with exceptional colour brilliance and a contrast-rich image; for matte anti-glare or even completely anti-reflective screens.

New possibilities for touch-controlled surfaces and light designs using the sensor technology from Kurz subsidiary PolyIC will be presented with the aid of a number of demonstrators. On display will be expressive day/night effects with creative design flips. Designs that are opaque under daylight conditions but change their appearance in surprising ways on touch activation. They become bathed in mood-setting ambient lighting, and the colour and intensity of the light can be changed by means of sliders or knobs. Sophisticated designs inspired by nature and technology that are partially or fully backlit, or which exhibit varying levels of transparency. Also on display will be silk-screen printed designs from Kurz subsidiary Burg Design that develop a special depth effect when backlit.

For in-mould decoration of plastic components, Kurz has developed unique soft-touch surfaces. Various haptic effects can be produced, from silky smooth, to velvety, right through to strikingly grippy surfaces. The soft-touch haptics can be combined with a wide range of visual designs, offer high surface resistance, and have a sound-optimizing effect thanks to their acoustic damping properties.

Caption: Leonhard Kurz will exhibit its sensor integration solutions at Fakuma 2018 (photo: Leonhard Kurz)

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