German automotive components maker Fischer Automotive Systems GmbH said its DirectSkinning multicomponent polyurethane processing technology is now being used in commercial production. The company is turning out decorative dashboard trim parts for the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo.
DirectSkinning combines injection molding of thermoplastics with reaction injection molding in PU processing. The coated component is produced directly on the injection press in a single mold, in a process comparable to multicomponent injection molding.
When a rotary table or swivel platen mold is used, the two production steps can be performed in parallel, for example, thus ensuring short cycle times and high productivity, said Andreas Bur- kle, who is in charge of the DirectSkinning project at Fischer's headquarters plant in Horb, Germany.
Developed by Fischer Automotive with Bayer MaterialScience AG, a number of prototype parts produced using DirectSkinning were displayed last year at Bayer's Fakuma trade fair exhibit in Friedrichshafen, Germany.
Fischer said it is now producing a decorative panel that seals off a kinematic drawer on the dashboard of the Gran Turismo. The part requires little secondary finishing and the thickness about 1.4 millimeters in this use and color of the PU layer can be varied over a broad range.
No post-molding coating is required and the component has been shown to exceed the carmaker's requirements in terms of light stability, Fischer said.
Our joint project demonstrates that DirectSkinning is ready for series production and can be used to manufacture injection moldings with high-quality, colored, decorative polyurethane surfaces for vehicle interiors, said Michael Baumeister, head of production and logistics at Fischer.
Fischer Automotive specializes in interior components such as drawers, lids and covers. The firm also has production in the U.S., Czech Republic and China.
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