Press Information

Georg Kaufmann Formenbau AG
18. March 2010

„Plastics in Automotive Engineering“– VDI Congress in Mannheim/Germany
Kaufmann – the specialist in highly integrated injection moulding technology

Busslingen, March 2010. –  At this year’s VDI Congress “Plastics in Automotive Engineering” (Mannheim/Germany, 17th and 18th March 2010), the firm of Georg Kaufmann Formenbau AG, Busslingen/ Switzerland, will be presenting a broad spectrum of innovative process and mould related technologies for plastics processing, all of them contributing to the cost-saving, highly integrated production of high-quality multifunctional parts. Common to all technologies is the combination of hitherto separate production steps into one single, highly automated production sequence.


Moulding technology for lightweight parts
The new developments to be presented by Kaufmann include various mould systems that have been optimized for the processing of fibre reinforced, high-strength semi-finished products into lightweight parts.  Typical examples of such semi-finished products are:

  • Organo sheets – these are sheets made of glass fabric impregnated with engineering plastics, and
  • GMTex sheets – these are organo sheets coated on both sides with a layer of glass mat reinforced thermoplastic (GMT) and hence featuring a certain degree of flowability.

These optimized mould systems permit not only the processing of semi-finished products without any preforming operation but also, depending on application and requirement, the integration of such function elements as snap-on catches and metal inserts using a back-moulding or encapsulation process. Moreover, parts formed from GMTex sheets can also be provided with moulded-on reinforcing ribs.

Back moulding of printed electronics
Further new developments are Kaufmann’s mould and process technologies for the back-moulding and encapsulation of electroluminescent (EL) foils. These technologies open up completely new possibilities, in terms of both function and design, when it comes to the production of “printed electronics”, e.g. displays, touch-sensitive keyboards or printed sensors. The multi-layer EL foil, which is less than 0.1 mm thick, can be readily and directly integrated with the moulded part during the injection moulding process. Even three-dimensional shaping of the EL foils is possible within certain limits.  The all-important expertise lies not least in the accurate placement of the delicate EL foils in the mould cavity and in the careful monitoring of the injection operation so as to prevent any possible damage to the EL foil.

Varysoft®: soft-touch foam exactly where it is needed
The Varysoft® process developed by Kaufmann enables the production of particularly comfortable passenger compartment parts: it is now possible, for the first time ever, to vary the thickness of the layer of soft-touch foam between the supporting structure and the decorative fabric. The supporting structure is first injection moulded in one of the two cavities of a slide-table mould, while the decorative fabric is placed in the other cavity in readiness for back-moulding with soft-touch foam. The two halves of the mould are then repositioned by means of the sliding table in such a way that the supporting core and the decorative material are opposite one another. When the mould closes, a gap of varying depth remains between the supporting structure and the decorative material corresponding to the desired thickness of the injected layer of foam.

Duo-Lamination: multiple in-mould decoration in just one injection moulding machine
With the mould and process technology Duo-Lamination it is now possible to mould passenger compartment trim with several differently decorated surfaces in just one injection moulding machine.  The necessary rotating mould is mounted on an injection moulding machine equipped with a second injection unit and a rotary table mounted on a carriage that moves to and fro between the mould halves. Integrated into the process is a punching device for trimming the surplus decorative material, which means that the passenger compartment trim is immediately ready-to-install when it is discharged from the machine.

Dolphin: soft-touch combined with rigidity
With a two-component rotary mould specially developed by Kaufmann for the Dolphin process it is now possible to combine the processes of injection moulding and foaming in one production cell. This special technology is ideal for the cost-efficient production of load-bearing passenger compartment parts complete with soft-touch surfaces. To this end, the material for the supporting structure is injected into the mould in station 1.  The mould is then rotated and an expandable polyester is injected into the closed mould in station 2. A dense skin is first allowed to form against the cold cavity wall before the mould opens a slight distance to initiate expansion of the injected melt in the space between the skin and the supporting structure.

Injection moulded parts with integrated heating systems
The use of electrically conductive coatings for back-moulding decorative fabrics enables the processor to produce composite parts with heatable surfaces. For further details see our attached press release “Decorative passenger compartment trim with integrated heating systems”.

Further information:
Georg Kaufmann,  Georg Kaufmann Formenbau AG
Rugghölzli 3,  CH-5453 Busslingen/Switzerland
Phone:  +41 (0) 56/485 65 00,  Fax:  +41 (0) 56/496 54 00
E-Mail:  gktool(at)gktool.ch
Internet:  http://www.gktool.ch

Editorial contact and voucher copies:
Dr. Diether Burkhardt,  KONSENS Public Relations GmbH & Co. KG,
Hans-Kudlich-Straße 25,  D-64823 Groß-Umstadt
Phone:  +49 (0) 60 78/93 63-0,  Fax:  +49 (0) 60 78/93 63-20
E-Mail:  mail(at)konsens.de


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