The kickoff for processing polyurethane (PUR) at KraussMaffei took place in 1967. The company was active on the market as a machine supplier just one year later. "KraussMaffei is a forerunner for using this material in plastics production. Thanks to years of experience, an up-to-date, premium-quality machine portfolio and a large store of technology and procedure expertise, we've developed into a worldwide market leader," explains Nicolas Beyl, the Reaction Process Machinery Division Head at KraussMaffei since February 2012. KraussMaffei focused on high-pressure processing of PUR from the beginning. In close cooperation with raw material manufacturers and processors, new fields of application, machines and methods are still being developed constantly to this day.
"We want to strengthen our activity in the area of reaction process machinery globally and to demonstrate additional application and efficiency potential for our customers along their entire value chain. In particular, we want to draw them to us using combinations of machines and methods for injection molding and reaction process machinery and by using new technologies," explains Beyl. These strengths recently received positive feedback at the NPE 2012 trade show in Orlando (USA). The manufacture of an armrest using the SkinForm process was shown. In one machine, the injection-molded carrier was flow-coated with a foamed aliphatic type of polyurethane with pleasant surface characteristics and outstanding UV resistance. "KraussMaffei's extensive Technology3 expertise across the entire process chain was apparent at this machine. The machines, automation, mold technology, and custom solutions were all from our company and unified our expertise," explains Beyl. Furthermore, the company wants to advance new innovative solutions in growth fields, including the areas of lightweight construction and fiber composite technology. "In recent years we have been able to win numerous orders in these areas worldwide. We also have a worldwide one-of-a-kind expertise center in this area, the fiber composite technology TechCenter we opened in Munich in 2011," says Beyl.
Thirteen companies were honored with a JEC Europe Innovation Award this year as part of the JEC trade show. The development consortium headed by the Fraunhofer ICT was able to distinguish itself among the companies. The SCS process (structural component spraying) premiered in the category of production processes. It is a manufacturing process for lightweight structures based on sandwich structures and spray processes for glass-fiber reinforced polyurethane resins. In addition to KraussMaffei, partners Bombardier, Fraunhofer ICT, Bayer MaterialScience DEC, the DLR Institute of Vehicle Concepts, the University of Stuttgart (IFB) and the Institute for Technology in Karlsruhe (wbk) were responsible for the manufacturing process and were distinguished for extensive developments along the entire value chain. Sandwich core materials, cover layer materials, manufacturing processes, fire protection systems, design principles and calculation methods were developed for this sandwich structure demonstration component with a length of 4.5 m and a width of 2.5 m. The innovative design with identical interfaces using glass-fiber reinforced polyurethane sandwich structures makes it possible to reduce the weight of the safety enclosure while simultaneously reducing the number of components. Despite this, all of the requirements of the requirements specifications are met, such as dielectric strength.
Nicolas Beyl has been working for KraussMaffei since 2006. After spending three years as Director Corporate Strategy in the KraussMaffei Group, he took up the post of Director Technology in the Injection Molding Machinery Business Unit in 2009. The graduate in production engineering previously worked for nine years as a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. The focal points of his consulting work were the mechanical engineering and automotive industries. Beyl also gained a Master's Degree in Business Administration at INSEAD during this period.
An overview of KraussMaffei's performance and innovative strengths in the area of processing polyurethane: