Technology overview: PVC Skin has been used on the surface of interior parts such as automotive interior seats, door trims, sun visors, etc. Its application has been gradually expanded as its surface quality is good compared with productivity and production cost.
However, the constant increase in demand for automobiles and interior products has required safety securement of a product and development of an eco-friendly product all over the world. Also, there has been a need for the development of a product that can replace PVC skin vulnerable to ejection of VOCs. Accordingly, to replace PVC, a replaceable product that reduces harmful VOCs and is cost-effective as well has been successfully developed by applying TPO where a manufacturing process and raw material are improved. A database has been established to systematically analyze and improve reasons causing VOCs by dividing a manufacturing process into the calender, surface treatment, embo half-finished product process and shaping stage and sub-dividing these. Raw materials such as a surface treatment agent necessary to manufacture automotive interior materials have been improved and replaced after analysis. The developed TPO product (TPO Sheet-Termoplastic Polyolefin Sheet) has reduced injection of Toluene among VOCs, the problem of PVC skin, by one tenth. It has satisfied domestic and overseas requirements for toxic substances. As eco-friendliness and productivity of the product have improved, the economic effect of export increase in not only Korea but also overseas can be expected and it has set a foundation to increase eco-friendly competitiveness of the domestic automotive industry which has a significant omnidirectional ripple effect. Also, it is expected to contribute to reduction of economic loss and improvement of people’s health as it has strengthened safety of drivers and passengers from ejection of VOCs.
Industrialization: Since it was introduced to Korea in 2014 after a product was developed in August 2013, sales of about 2 billion won have been accomplished. As safety standards of automotive interior air quality have been tightened and interest and demand by domestic/overseas customers for an eco-friendly product have been increasing, it is predicted that sales will continuously increase by expanding automotive interior material applied items and it is judged that the developed product can be replaced on existing automobiles. After supplying in Korea stably, an effort to supply the developed product to global automotive makers (U.S. Europe, Japan and China) has been made. It is expected that the recent global outsourcing policy of GM Global will work as an opportunity to target overseas markets and increase exports.
Problem-solving in industrialization: A close analysis DB on products and raw materials for each manufacturing process is required to analyze causes of VOC of PVC skin and replacements but it was difficult to establish improvement direction because there was no professional data or accumulated data from the past. To solve this problem, an analysis plan was established and a process product was sampled at the right time. Systematic DB was established and it could be used for development of replacements. Also, to solve a problem of productivity decline and production cost rise due to increase of production lead time after reducing VOCs, the BRX free surface treating solvent exclusive line has been newly created with a developing company’s customer company by benchmarking H company in the USA and the drying process has been optimized. As a result, industrialization has been successful by complementing, verifying and mass-producing the product quality of the developed product.
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