Lean production of metallized plastic on show at Fakuma

Plasma vacuum deposition (PVD) is reportedly gaining traction as a means of applying metal finishings to plastic parts in automotive and other industries. At the Fakuma show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, October 14-18, visitors have an opportunity to view the latest such metallization solution, a compact and automated production line for metallization and downstream processes that is integrated with injection molding, thereby improving cost efficiency and quality. 


Production of metallized plastic reflectors at Norwegian manufacturer IV Group. PVD vacuum metallization is integrated with injection molding in a compact automated production cell.

Exhibiting partners Ehlebracht Plastics Technology (Enger, Germany), Impact Coatings AB (Linköping, Sweden) and pi4_robotics GmbH (Berlin, Germany) will operate the fully automated production cell for metallized plastic parts at the show in Hall A1/Booth 1205. The cell incorporates an Engel injection molding machine, PVD vacuum metallization equipment, robotic visual inspection and packaging of produced components.
The integrated solution reportedly boasts numerous advantages over operating injection molding and metallization as separate processes. These include lead-time reduction, improved quality, and reduced costs for non-value adding activities.
Impact Coatings furnishes compact and short cycle PVD metallization units suitable for lean integration. Production cells with injection molding and PVD are for example used for metallized plastic reflectors, helping manufactures reduce lead-times and costs, and drastically improve scrap rates.
In addition, the Swedish company has introduced a small footprint solution for UV-cured lacquer, to be integrated with molding and metallization. The result is said to be a very compact, cost efficient and eco-friendly production solutions for decorative metallized plastic. "This helps automotive, home appliance and other industries choose PVD vacuum metallization to replace chromium plating on plastic, when phasing out hexavalent chromium from the industry," says Impact Coatings.

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