Last updateMon, 01 Feb 2021 12pm

Sustainable and innovative - Leonhard Kurz pushes circular economy

Life Cycle Thinking is anchored in Kurz' corporate goals. The commitment to sustainability and the active promotion of the circular economy is now also clearly reflected in the company's appearance at this year's innovation show CES all digital: under the motto Earth Attraction, the global player from Fürth is showing innovations in the areas of product and design and is tackling sustainable and at the same time highly effective solutions for a variety of industries in different ways. The new design concept Gravity Forces, inspired by the elements of fire, water, earth and air, as well as the environmentally friendly innovations from the field of plastic decoration, which are presented under the title New Ground, are a homage to nature, the preservation of which Kurz has set as its goal. With Circle of Life, the company also presents its commitment to sustainability at all levels from production to waste recycling.

The vision is a holistic recycling cycle with a high degree of design freedom and cost efficiency at the same time. To make this idea a reality, the experts at Leonhard Kurz are continuously researching new products and processes.

Sustainability expertise along the entire value chain

How can material and energy be saved without sacrificing quality? Where can waste be avoided in the future? Questions like these are asked time and again by the long-established company, which sees itself as responsible along the entire value chain - in its own production process, in the customer's application process, as well as in the end product and in the recycling of recyclable materials. In the production of the decorations, the company relies as much as possible on renewable energies - in Germany, thanks to the company's own solar plants, even 100 percent. In addition, for example, the complete incineration of exhaust air with full energy recovery also contributes to a resource-saving production process.

Short decorations do not restrict the recyclability of products

On the one hand, the wafer-thin transfer decorations from Kurz generally do not impair the recyclability of plastic components, as various tests have shown. On the other hand, they also enhance the appearance of recycled materials: The high-quality refined recyclates are in no way inferior to decorated new material. With the short decorations, the parts made of recycled material are just as aesthetically pleasing and versatile. There are no visual differences to parts made of new material; unless the customer wants them to be: then, with approaches such as Speckle Design, design variants are also available that visually emphasise the recycling idea.

The application process at the customer's can also be reproduced in an environmentally friendly way - for example, by using so-called dry chrome plating instead of electroplating for metallic effects on surfaces. Both the hot stamping process and the in-mould decoration process, IMD for short, are dry and solvent-free. By combining two steps - the production and the decoration of the component - in one, the IMD process is also more energy-efficient than other processes.

Avoiding waste - or recycling it with a unique recycling programme

At Kurz, special importance is attached to the recycling of valuable materials. The aim here is to find sensible and environmentally compatible solutions for reuse: For example, the company uses the harmless stamping foil waste energetically as substitute fuel. A milestone in recycling, however, was reached above all with the in-house recycling programme for customers' carrier foil remnants, for which a recycling plant was set up specifically. The programme is to be expanded step by step in the future.

In addition to people and the environment, Kurz' customers are the main beneficiaries of the company's extensive commitment to sustainability. Thanks to the know-how, they can improve their own CO2 balance and increase their competitive advantage.

Landing page provides insight into Kurz's commitment to sustainability

Parallel to the online trade fair presence at CES, where the application areas of consumer electronics and automotive are particularly in the foreground, Leonhard Kurz will also provide information about the innovations on an additional landing page at www.plastic-decoration.com/ces-d. Product images, videos and informative descriptions there not only make the entire scope of the innovations comprehensible, but also demonstrate the commitment to sustainability at all levels.




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