10/10/2013

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Engel: Soft touch and process integration

[image_0]In a single process step, the Varysoft process devised by Georg Kaufmann Formenbau, Busslingen, Switzerland, will be used to produce dashboards for the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group combining a Trexel MuCell microcellular foamed ABS/PC core carrier, external in-mould grained (IMG) TPO decorative cladding and a PU foam layer between the core and cladding materials. The dashboards are said to have an outstanding look and feel. The Varysoft process shown by Engel at K 2013 involves a textured mould from Korean mouldmaker Moltex and it features a foaming core and infrared oven integrated in the mould's middle table between the IMG and substrate cavities to introduce the PU layer and to preheat and vacuum-preform the grain of the TPO foil. Compared to other processes for manufacturing soft touch surfaces, the Varysoft process is said to offer even greater softness while allowing undercuts in the mould design. When Kaufmann demonstrated the process at its April 2010 Varysoft open house in partnership with Muffler-Plastic, the soft foam layer was not in PU but in foamable TPE.Engel will also demonstrate the production of a medical device, a three-component moulding on an e-victory 160 combi of a B. Braun drip chamber containing a filter in which ABS and TPE components are first moulded, then the filter mounted and the unit finished by overmoulding with PP. Engel says that the level of integration demonstrated in this process significantly improves efficiency in the manufacturing of multi-component hollow bodies with inlays and will revolutionise not only manufacturing practices in the medical engineering sector but also, for example, the production of fuel filters. Conventionally, the two hollow body components are individually injection-moulded; the inlay is then fitted and bonded in subsequent process steps.Hall 15, stand B42, C58

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