Hall 3 | Booth C92
The new BMW 3 series and Mercedes C-class executive sedans will both feature complete interior door trim manufactured with forming and laminating units supplied by Kiefel. A specific challenge for the German machine manufacturer arising from these major orders was the fact that the vehicles are produced in various parts of the world. The machines must therefore be adaptable to different environmental, energy supply and regulatory requirements of the production countries involved.
Seven goes into 3
For BMW, Kiefel has developed a total of seven laminating machines for the manufacture of the interior trim of the doors on the new 3 series, which is being produced in Germany, South Africa and China. Each of these machines takes just 80s to produce a complete set of interior door trim components for a car. BMW’s worldwide operation manufactures 2,500 3 series cars every day.
Mercedes, along with JCI, its Tier 1 supplier, is the second largest car producer in the last few months to have started using Kiefel machines for the production of interior trim components. In an order worth several million Euros DaimlerBenz ordered a total of six laminating units, which it uses to produce the interior door trims of the new C-class. All of these machines have been equipped with an in-mould-graining tool developed by Kiefel. This solution is claimed to provide a particularly smoothly-grained surface and thus to fulfil high quality requirements. Mercedes will soon be producing 2,200 new C-class vehicles every day in its factories in Germany, South Africa, China and the United States. The new C-class will be available from 2014.
A choice of solutions
Kiefel’s forming and laminating machines are designed on a modular basis and are available as single station, inline or turntable units. Configurations are available for a wide range of forming and laminating tasks involved in the manufacture or finishing of interior or exterior trim components in various materials. They are used in the production of door linings, A, B, and C columns, shelves, consoles and coated film materials. Customers can count on optimised matching to their individual requirements.
The technologies available include vacuum forming and laminating; and vacuum forming and laminating with Kiefel’s proprietary in-mould-graining process (IMG). The machines can be equipped to provide cutting and trimming solutions as well as edge folding on the laminated parts by collapsing stroke. Examples of car parts made with Kiefel equipment include instrument panels; door and side trim elements; consoles and covering elements; door handles and armrests; storage shelves; map pockets; pillar liners; luggage compartment liners; external trim components; water-shielding and insulating elements; and various inserts.
Kiefel says that it works with customers from the prototype phase onwards in the development of manufacturing techniques and solutions. It produces prototype components for pre-launch vehicles as well as well as for series production. Its range of technologies include vacuum laminating of substrates; preforming of film for foam backing, back injection or back pressing; vacuum lamination and film forming with IMG; slush moulding; edge folding of film, textiles, leather and Alcantara, both with and without adhesives; press-laminating; riveting by ASC and/or ultrasound; HF welding; and special procedures for glueing and assembly.