LEONHARD KURZ Wins Gold Prize at German Innovation Award 2024 for Pioneering Automotive Rear End Cover Concept

Fürth/Germany, 14 May, 2024: LEONHARD KURZ’s Automotive Rear End Cover concept convinces on all levels and wins Gold at the German Innovation Award 2024. The expert for decorative and functional surfaces thus scores the top award in the ‘Excellence in Business to Business: Automotive Technology’ category. “At KURZ we always try to surpass ourselves and break through the boundaries of what is possible. Winning the German Innovation Award shows that we have created a pioneering development with this concept,” emphasizes Luitpold Haarländer, Head of Sales Management Automotive in the Plastic Decoration Business Area at KURZ.


Design for the mobility of the future

Even today, the trend towards smooth and homogeneous surfaces is predominant in the automotive industry, especially for electric vehicles. With its Rear End Cover concept, KURZ is showcasing innovative ways to merge decorative elements with smart functionality and is taking technology to a whole new level. The rear component is manufactured in one piece and, thanks to integrated sensors, boasts touch functionality, which can be used to open the trunk, for example. In addition, the Rear End Cover is 5G-capable and radar-permeable. Together with the impressive lighting design, which changes depending on the driving mode, the rear component contributes to the vehicle's communication with its surroundings beyond the indicators and brake lights. Fascinating 3D lighting effects and day-night designs create a wow effect. “There are hardly any boundaries when it comes to design, and the design is harmoniously combined with practical functionality,” explains Luitpold Haarländer.


Technology for more sustainability

KURZ not only shows innovative spirit in the design of the Rear End Cover but also uses specially developed technologies during the production process. Using the 2K In-Mold Decoration process (2K IMD), the component is produced in just 60 to 70 seconds and surface finished at the same time. The process, which is suitable for series production, enables a fast and energy-efficient manufacturing process and is ideal for large components that can be installed directly, such as the Rear End Cover. Thanks to In-Mold Electronics (IME), it is also possible to integrate ultra-thin touch sensors in the same work step. A 2K material mix of two different types of plastic - opaque and transparent - is also used during the production of the components, enabling targeted light isolation without unwanted light scattering. Nevertheless, the component is recyclable in one piece. The expert for decorative and functional surfaces goes one step further and has designed the Rear End Cover so that it can also be manufactured and finished using recycled material with consistently high quality.


Award for innovative ideas

The German Innovation Award was created by the German Design Council and is awarded to projects, products and pioneering achievements that contribute to a sustainable improvement of everyday life through innovation and progress. The main categories ‘Excellence in Business to Consumer’ and ‘Excellence in Business to Business’ are divided into around 20 sections each. The expert jury chooses particularly outstanding innovations with the gold award. The ‘Winner’ title goes to those who advance the industry through originality, implementation, and effectiveness. Well-thought-out aspects and original approaches receive a ‘Special Mention.’

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