Bayer Corp. plans to establish a film insert molding research and development facility at its Pittsburgh headquarters.
The $1 million building will advance the technology, help North American original equipment manufacturers and molders understand the design and decoration possibilities of film insert molding and provide customer support. The laboratory, set to open in the first quarter next year, is similar to Bayer AG's film insert molding lab in Dormagen, Germany.
That lab was established in 1986 and technicians developed technologies to be applied to commercial products.
The results include several Bayer patents and a variety of commercial applications such as heater control knobs, light switches, cellular phone and pager casings and key pads, auto front grilles and control panel bezels.
Although the U.S. lab has not been established yet, Bayer has the equipment and is working with customers.
``With our new film insert molding facility in Pittsburgh, we'll be able to exchange technology with Bayer AG and offer that expertise to customers here in North America,'' Peter Geise, business director of films for Bayer Corp.'s Polymers Division, said in a news release. ``We will also do original research work here.''
``Our parent company helped develop film insert molding and has been refining the technology ever since,'' added Stephen Smith, senior plastics engineer. ``With this new facility, we've taken it upon ourselves to help further the technology and offer a unique resource to our customers.''
Film insert molding starts by decorating a specialty film with anything from a solid color to precision-registered graphics. The film is formed and die cut, then placed into the mold of an injection molding machine. A compatible resin is shot behind the film, bonding the film surface to the molding resin and forming a decorated, finished, integrated part.
The new facility will feature printing equipment, various forming methods, including Bayer-patented technologies, hard-tool die cutting and injection molding.
Bayer will test film-to-resin compatibility on a range of materials, including polyurethanes.