An alternative to painting plastic components is the use of decorative films. inpro has been pursuing film technology since 2002 and developed a prototype process chain. Its principle suitability was demonstrated at the end of 2004. In contrast to plastic painting, this technology involves painting a film in the color of the car in a so-called line coater before the component is manufactured. After thermoforming this film and back-foaming or back-injecting it with a glass-fiber-reinforced polymer matrix, the finished part matches the painted body.

inpro was able to demonstrate the potential of this technology for series painting of plastic components. The investigation of various film painting scenarios proved that film technology is also interesting from an economic point of view. Film technology is an innovative technology with great application and process potential. In 2008, series production was implemented in the VW Passat CC.

inpro takes up thematically challenging tasks and develops well-founded solutions. (…) For example, the potential of innovative film technology for outer skin parts as an alternative to energy-intensive painting processes was identified with specialist and power promoters from the shareholder companies. By pooling the resources of the shareholders, the processes required for this were systematically developed to the stage of pilot maturity.”

Carl-Ernst Forchert, Founder and Managing Director of i-vector Innovationsmanagement GmbH