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Double IMD + IML Injection Molding To Be Demonstrated at Fakuma

Patented Kurz system, demonstrated by KraussMaffei, allows two independent single-image foils to decorate two mold cavities.


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At next month’s Fakuma 2018 show in Germany, KraussMaffei (U.S. office in Florence, Ky.) will demonstrate sophisticated applications for two new all-electric presses. Its highly modular PX series is being expanded at both ends of the size range with the new PX 320 (320 metric tons) and PX 25 (25 m.t.). The larger unit is showing off a new capability developed by Leonhard Kurz in Germany (Kurz Transfer Products is in Charlotte, N.C.). Earlier this year, Kurz revealed its patent-pending IMD SI Duo technology at the KraussMaffei Competence Forum at KM’s headquarters in Munich. This system allows two independent heat-transfer foils to be transported reel-to-reel through a two-cavity mold. The two in-mold decorating (IMD) films transfer the printed decoration to the plastic part under the influence of heat and pressure during molding. According to KraussMaffei, IMD options for multicavity molds before now were limited to continuous designs and flat parts. Single-image designs with precise positions reportedly were not possible.

Kurz has remedied that with a servo-controlled positioning unit for each IMD film, which is integrated into the PX machine. The system uses sensors beside the films to read registration marks on the films for positioning accuracy within 0.01 mm.

At Fakuma, this double-IMD process will be supplemented with in-mold labeling (IML) to produce a 10-in. HMI (human-machine interface) display with integrated electronics, black decorative frame, and scratch-proof coating. A six-axis robot will insert the IML film with printed conductor paths in the stationary mold half. On the moving mold half, two IMD films provide different single-image decorations for two cavities. One of them has a UV-curable top coat for scratch resistance, which is cured outside the mold. This is followed by a laser station that removes flakes and flash and cuts off the sprue. The IMD cell is a mobile unit that can be rapidly docked to different machines.

Meanwhile, KM will also demonstrate at Fakuma its smallest PX model, the new PX 25, in an LSR micromolding application. For this purpose, KM developed a new 12-mm-diam. screw with a spring-loaded check valve.