Innovative Plastics technologies from KraussMaffei

KraussMaffei not only has the know-how to engineer advanced systems for the three major plastics processing technologies - injection moulding, extrusion and reaction moulding. The company also develops innovative processes that open up totally new applications for plastic components.

Plastics are extremely versatile materials and the number of applications in which they are used has been growing steadily for decades. Two factors are driving this development. Firstly, plastics compare very favourably with conventional materials, like metals, because of the greater degrees of freedom for specifying material characteristics. Secondly, plastics offer huge potential for optimizing manufacturing costs. Multi component technology is a striking example. Multi component processes are sometimes very complex, on the other hand, the potential for savings is amazing. Savings come mostly through reducing component count, which in turn reduces manufacturing and assembly costs.

There are different methods of shaping several different types of plastic melt in one mould to an integrated component. These include composite, multicolour, sandwich and assembly moulding.

For Dr. Erwin Bürkle, Director of Pre- Development New Technologies/ Process Engineering in KraussMaffei`s Injection Moulding Machinery division, has this important comment to make. - It takes the right combination of machine, mould and process to provide the necessary framework for cost-competitive production - he says.

The machine itself is by no means the only factor that has to change in order to drive development of advanced plastics technologies. Jochen Mitzler, head of Product and Technology Management in KraussMaffei`s Injection Moulding Machinery division says: - Innovative plastics need smart machine engineering. And here`s where KraussMaffei is a competent development partner.

His statement is backed up by trailblazing technologies that successfully combine different processes. Take SkinForm, for example, where an injection moulded substrate is overmoulded with a PUR cast skin. It`s a one-step process capable of producing diverse, high-value surfaces, for example, automotive cockpit components.

X-Form is one of the newest variants of multicomponent moulding. Combining three technologies - injection moulding, extrusion and reaction processing - X-Form opens up a completely new range of applications for plastics.