Munich, Germany - KraussMaffei's has sold one of its huge SkinForm systems, which stimulated high interest during the K2007 show, to Korean automotive components supplier IL Kwang.
IL Kwang supplies the Hyundai/Kia Group, one of the world's fastest-growing car makers.
The SkinForm system will be supplied as a turnkey solution, consisting of a KM 2300-14000 spin-platen injection-moulding machine; the integrated IMC compounder; the patented SkinForm process and two KraussMaffei robots.
The Korean firm is the first company to take the plunge and invest in KraussMaffei's automated solution for producing large automotive interior-trim components with premium soft-touch surfaces, said the German group.
At K2007, "a lot of people were impressed and amazed by our big SkinForm system. This order proves that the market is ready for this innovative technology," commented Dr Dietmar Straub, KraussMaffei ceo, in a 27 Nov statement from the group.
IL Kwang is making the buy as part of a development project - supported by the Korean government and in collaboration with Hyundai Motors and Kia Motors - on innovative production solutions.
The 2300-tonne KraussMaffei system delivers an assembly-ready part. First a large thermoplastic substrate is injection moulded, using material compounded in-process on the IMC (injection moulding compounder).
PU mixing heads docked onto the mould then flood defined areas of the substrate with abrasion-proof, soft-touch surfaces, using the patented SkinForn process, to give high-quality surfaces with the look and feel of leather.
The KraussMaffei process makes it possible to vary the size, thickness, soft-touch and colour of the coating in different areas as part of the same process, and without changing the machine settings. The colour can be changed from shot to shot, claims the company.
The machine destined for Korea integrates the three technologies - injection moulding, reaction and extrusion. KraussMaffei claims to be the only supplier with the expertise and resources to supply these as a single vendor. And it does this in a fully-automated production cell.
PIC: l-r Straub with K. S. Lee, director of R&D for IL Kwang and Manfred Reichel of KraussMaffei's board.