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cooperation supplier of well-known brands such as BYD, Huawei and Johnson
& Johnson. It also provides OEM/ODM services for many large foreign companies.
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In recent years, the formable decorative film has been used to make dashboard, door panel, switch, light shield, front cover and central control panel of automobile and truck. Avery Dennison, the company with the longest application history in this field, hopes that the application of IMD will continue to grow, because OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) also want to diversify their products and have a variety of appearance and decoration methods. Kotsbil believes: compared with the 1970s and 1980s, IMD is more and more used in the field of automobile interior decoration, and more and more emphasis is placed on the visual effect in small areas.
Some of the vehicles in production use Avery Dennison's film: the central control panel of Toyota Solara 2004 has wood grain, geometric pattern and metallic luster; the central control panel of 2004 Ford 250 excavator also has wood grain, geometric pattern and metallic luster; the one inch wide decorative belt is used on 2004 Ford FreeStar small train, which spans the entire dashboard.
In 2016, Bayer launched a new type of Fantasia Faria special film. These include the makrofol PC dpf5069 bright metallic light film, which has a similar chrome effect. Because it is transparent, it adopts the structure of "second side" printing. Dureflex TPU is a soft film or fibrous film, which feels like touching clothes, and the fiber is wrapped between the adhesive layer and the bottom plate. The film produced by legacy film production line of GE Plastics rigid products also has clothing feel. Based on Lexan PC and ULTEM Pei, these films have been used in automotive interiors and other non automotive areas for several years. Some of these films are smooth, some are rough, some have a high gloss appearance, some have a low gloss appearance. Specific applications include: PRNDL, HVAC bottom frame, other parts of the instrument panel. Ge will work with fiberloc to develop Lextra II polycarbonate films, which will be filled with nylon fibers to provide a soft texture, said Mike Laurin, the company's production manager. Now, Lextra II has been used in mobile phones. In the future, it is expected to replace the automobile interior fabric and be used in doors, armrests, steering wheels and hand gears.
Nevertheless, the application of IMD in this field is shrinking except for those special applications. "The cycle from concept generation to product manufacturing is generally two to three months, and the life cycle of a product is not more than six months. Therefore, in such a short cycle, it is impossible for mobile phone manufacturers to let suppliers print, mold and inject in large quantities," said Griffin of Bayer. What's more, they are still looking for ultra-low cost decoration methods. In general, IMD is the best option for devices that cost more than $200. "
"IMD will have a bright future in the" white goods "market, mainly including washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, microwave ovens and even the external control panel of ice makers," said Griffin of Bayer. There are similar potential applications of IMD in the medical and electronic industries. For example, IMD accessories can be used to replace the accessories that need to be separately molded and pasted on the control panel. " "In the past, the panels on most machines (such as washing machines) were always expected to be flat, and coating technology has been used," said Ge's Laurin. Now, there is a trend to design panels with more geometric shapes. As these panels become more and more three-dimensional, you will see that IMD technology will replace coating technology. "
Mike ruminski, design engineer at serigraph, mentioned the growth of IMD in the appliance market. According to reports, in their company's recent production projects, there are some internal components made for two major refrigerator manufacturers, using acrylic and PC film (the second side is printing surface). Other projects are components of washing machines and dryers, using printed PVC and PP films The specific application targets in the future are heavy trucks, horticulture, architecture and navigation.
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