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3/25/2018 | 1 MINUTE READ

Engel Rolls Out Decoject In-Mold Decorating Process

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Fully automated cell that feeds a thin TPO film into the tool for back molding makes its North American debut. 

For the first time in North America, Engel will present a fully automated cell for the DecoJect process (also shown at K 2016). Aimed at auto interior trim, it feeds a thin TPO film from a continuous roll into the open mold, where it is softened by an IR heater held by a robot. The film is preformed with vacuum in the injection mold and then back-injected with PP. The part is punched out of the roll in the mold; and after demolding comes a final laser trim. A finished part leaves the cell every 60 sec.

The film imparts color, gloss, texture, and feel—allowing production of a variety of parts simply by changing films. Engel is demonstrating this by varying the part surface from a refined leather grain, including the seam, to a modern carbon-fiber look. Engel uses films from Benecke Kaliko, a member of the Continental Group in Germany.

To make a lighter, thinner part, the PP substrate is foamed with Trexel’s MuCell microcellular process.

The cell features an Engel duo 5160/1000 1100-ton two-platen press, an Engel viper linear robot, and Engel easiCell self-contained automation unit with easix articulated robot, laser-cutting station, scrap granulator, and takeoff conveyor. Other partners in the project are Georg Kaufmann Formenbau (Switzerland), Galvanoform Gesellschaft für Glavanoplastik (Germany), HRSflow (Italy), ICO System International Coating (Germany), and Borealis (Austria). The entire cell is operated by the CC300 control of the injection machine.