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The Shape of e-Mobility to Come

Kurz, Covestro, and Sumitomo (SHI) Demag join forces to create an innovative wall box for EVs that employs in-mold decoration.

September 20, 2022

2 Min Read
e-mobility wallbox
Image courtesy of Leonhard Kurz

For the automotive industry, the focus is clearly on e-mobility and autonomous driving — two topics that in-mold decoration (IMD) expert Leonhard Kurz has been working on intensively for years. At K 2022, the thin-film specialist will be demonstrating the future of e-mobility both at its own booth (Hall 5, booth A19) and together with partners.

In collaboration with materials supplier Covestro and injection molding machine maker Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, Kurz has developed an innovative concept for an electric vehicle charging wall box, or e-nozzle, where design, functionality, and sustainability come together. The wall box is equipped not only with a display, but also with touch operation and backlighting. “We see more and more electric cars on German roads, which means that the wall box is also becoming part of our everyday life,” explains Martin Hahn, Head of Application, Technology, & Innovation in Leonhard Kurz’s Business Area Plastic Decoration. “As a result, the demands on wall-box design features are increasing, too. The wall box of tomorrow will become a functional design element — both visually appealing and smart to operate. It should also be made efficiently and resource-conserving in respect of sustainability.”

At K 2022, Kurz and its partners will show how this can be achieved with a live demo of IMD production at the Sumitomo (SHI) Demag stand (hall 15, booth D22). “Here, visitors will not only experience the sustainable decoration process up close, but also our all-electric injection molding machine, IntElect2,220/660–1100, which is precisely tailored to the IMD application and enables energy-efficient production and finishing of the wall box,” explains Rustam Aliyev, Director, Business Development, Automotive & Electronic at Sumitomo (SHI) Demag. He adds: “The injection molding and decoration processes are combined in a single, highly efficient step. This not only saves time and costs, but also leads to a reduction in CO2 emissions.”

The raw materials provided by Covestro (hall 6, booth A75) as part of the joint project also have a positive effect on the CO2 balance. “We use our Makrolon RE from allocated mass-balanced biowaste and residues as well as thermoplastic Makrofol polycarbonate films for the wall box,” explains Niklas Meine, who is responsible for EMEA marketing of electrical engineering and electronics at Covestro. “Makrolon RE has a very small carbon footprint and offers the necessary technical properties for charging stations, so that CO2 emissions can already be saved during production of the wall box. Last but not least, the wall box is particularly durable and can be recycled thanks to its special material properties.”

The Kurz IMD process also contributes to sustainability. “Thanks to thin-film technology, our decorations do not affect the recyclability of the components and are finished directly during production in the same step with the highly efficient, resource-saving IMD process,” explains Kurz expert Martin Hahn. “Unlike varnishing, wet paint contamination or post-drying energy are not issues here.”

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