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Color Change in Five Minutes


Further development of the ColorForm mixing head now permits color changes to be carried out much faster (© KraussMaffei)

KraussMaffei Technologies GmbH in Munich, Germany, has improved their ColorForm process for use in an automated manufacturing cell. The technology combines injection and reaction technology, and permits fully automatic production of components with a high-gloss finish in a one-stage production cycle. In the past, installations were configured individually and project-related. Now, with the GXW 650-2000 ColorForm, KraussMaffei showcases a compact new machine, in which all components for processing the lacquer system are completely integrated. For first-time users in particular, this simplifies entry to the one-shot process.

First, a thermoplastic main body is manufactured, which is then flooded with a two-component lacquer of polyurea (PUA) or polyurethane (PU) in the next stage. In this way, the production of lacquered components with injection molding is made possible. Compared with conventional lacquering methods, the process is environmentally friendly, as it is free of emissions and there is no need for solvents, softeners or heavy metals. The hardness of PUA or PU is adjustable as required, and can be considerably more scratch resistant than currently available series coatings based on PMMA and produced by 2-component injection molding.

Compared with earlier ColorForm installations, the improved manufacturing cell is featured by its compact design and standardization. Major changes were also made to the mixing head of the lacquering system. It is smaller, lighter, easier to assemble, and can handle a third component. Colorants, which previously had to be added to the lacquer, can now be dosed directly in the mixing head. As a result, color changes can be carried out in about 5 minutes, simply by changing the colorant.

The so-called FiberForm process permits continuous fiber-reinforced lightweight components to be injection molded. For this, an organic sheet is heated by an infrared heater, shaped in the injection mold, and subsequently back molded. To prevent thermal degradation of the organic sheet matrix during heating, KraussMaffei has developed an own control system for infrared heaters, which is fully integrated in the MC6 machine control system. The new control system not only permits faster heat-up without overshooting the setpoint, but also controls the individual heating curves during process data acquisition. What is more, two linear robots have optimized handling of the organic sheets in a space-saving manner.

Hall 15, booth C24 and C27

Company profile

KraussMaffei Technologies GmbH

Krauss-Maffei-Str. 2
DE 80997 München
Tel.: 089 8899-0
Fax: 089 8899-2206

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