After months of preparations, the Kurtz team went all out at the K trade fair to offer customers an impressive trade fair experience with exciting exhibits under the motto "LIVING CIRCULAR FOAM". The star in Hall 13 was the Kurtz WAVE LINE, which can be built up modularly depending on the application. To increase productivity, the machine has several tools in circulation at the same time. The heart of the WAVE LINE is the triple award-winning radio frequency technology, which uses high-frequency electromagnetic waves to process not only standard materials, but also new materials and biomaterials. This makes it possible to produce new types of sustainable packaging. With RF technology, a higher proportion of recycled material can be reprocessed than ever before. In the EPS shape molding, for example, it is up to 100%. The steamless process with radio frequency (RF) can achieve high savings: up to 70% in CO2 emissions, up to 90% in energy consumption and up to 100% in water consumption. For small to medium-sized applications and product families, the WAVE LINE is the most efficient way to process particle foam and the most promising in terms of climate protection. At K, the line produced mini floor pads from recycled expanded polystyrene (rEPS) three times a day during moderated live demonstrations.
Injection Molding meets Particle Foam
The two other exhibits, Kurtz THERMO FOAMER and Kurtz Ersa Alpha 140, also met with high visitor interest. With the THERMO SELECT process and the THERMO COATING/IMPFC process, Kurtz offers the automotive industry a novel lightweight construction solution. They produce closed, visually attractive molded parts without bead structure and with an injection molding-like surface. The shape moldings are solid, yet very light. When a car reaches the end of its life cycle, recyclability is guaranteed because the same raw material is used for both the particle foam layer and the injection molding-like surface – in this case polypropylene. The THERMO SELECT process operates with variotherm mold temperature control and achieves significantly reduced water consumption with a closed cooling system without direct water cooling.
The Alpha 140 was of particular interest to mold makers present at the K show. The Alpha 140's metal additive manufacturing process LPBF (laser powder bed fusion) enables the production of mold inserts or molds for particle foam or injection molding applications. Near-contour and complex cooling channels can be integrated into the interior of the component, enabling optimizations that reduce cycle times, increase productivity, and improve component quality, for example.
Participation in Circular Economy Forum
At this year's K, Kurtz participated in the Circular Economy Forum of the VDMA with its own 100 m2 pavilion on the topic of "New Materials". The second trade fair presence on the outdoor area in front of Hall 16 with sample parts made from sustainable sample parts was also well frequented. Managing Directors Uwe Rothaug and Matthias Hofmann look back on K 2022 with enthusiasm: "You can tell that since the last K, the industry has recognized the need for a shift towards more sustainable production processes, and we're happy to meet that need with our climate-friendly technologies." Stephan Gesuato, General Manager Protective Solutions, was also pleased with the successful show, "Our concept worked, and we received a lot of praise for our presence at the show. Our booth staff held intensive consultations and with our partners and international representatives we were perfectly positioned for the broad trade audience. We are now looking forward to the exciting project phase of our customized inquiries."