The use of decorative foils has emerged as an alternative to coating plastic add-on parts; inpro started researching foil technology in 2002, developing also a prototypical process chain. By the end of 2004, principle suitability had been demonstrated. In this technology, unlike with plastic coating, a foil is painted in the car colour with a so-called line coater, even before the component is produced. After thermoforming this foil and back-foaming or back-moulding with a glass-fibre-reinforced polymer matrix, the finished component is ready for assembly to the painted car body.
inpro was able to demonstrate the potential of this technology for the serial coating of plastic components. Research on various foil painting scenarios proved that foil technology is also attractive from an economic standpoint. The foil method is an innovative technology with significat application and process potential. In 2008, the VW Passat CC model underwent a serial conversion.
„inpro addressed all thematically challenging tasks and developed well-founded solutions. In cooperation with external scientific experts, inpro efficiently supports the work of shareholder companies, especially in the early stages of development. For example, working with technical and executive promoters of shareholder companies, inpro identified the potential of innovative foil technology for exposed parts as an alternative to energy-intensive coating processes. By pooling the resources of these partners, inpro systematically developed the necessary procedures to achieve the pilot maturity stage. Results are recognised in the shareholder group, as well as in the scientific community.“