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November 28, 2007

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KM seals first SkinForm deal

Plastics processing machinery manufacturer KraussMaffei (Munich, Germany) announced in late November that, during the K show in October, Korean automotive components supplier IL Kwang ordered what will be the first SkinForm processing cell for commercial parts. Commented Dietmar Straub, KraussMaffei CEO, “This order proves that the market is ready for this innovative technology.”

IL Kwang’s order is for one of the huge processing cells as displayed by KM during the K show—the largest machine ever shown at that trade show. The cell at the show combined KM’s SkinForm process for polyurethane coating with injection molding in a spin-platen machine, in a system 21 m long and 9 m wide. Clamping force was 2300 tonnes.

IL Kwang supplies the Hyundai/Kia Group. The SkinForm system supplied to it will do the show machine one better, as it also will include an inline-compounding extruder. The turnkey solution includes a KM 2300-14000 spin-platen injection molding machine from the MX series, an integrated IMC compounder, the patented SkinForm process, and two KM robots.

Processed will be large automotive interior trim components with premium soft-touch surfaces. A large thermoplastic substrate is first injection molded, using material compounded in-process on the IMC (injection molding compounder). PUR mixing heads affixed to the mold then flood defined areas of the substrate with abrasion-proof soft-touch surfaces using the SkinForm process. The process facilitates varying the size, thickness, and tactility of the coating in different areas as part of the same process and without changing machine settings. The color can be changed from shot to shot.—[email protected]

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