Pioneering a new material-process technology solution to make the “Interaction Bar” come to life
BMW’s strong influence on automotive design is very well known. The all-new BMW 7 series interaction bar is no exception to that.
It combines decorative almost diamond-like and colourful light effects, integrated with a range of hidden until touched functional HMI attributes.
The BMW 7 series interaction bar component stretches across the entire instrument panel as far as into the doors.
A very large-size and varying in part thickness, complex automotive injection moulding part.
A multitude of decorative design features stretching from an almost diamond like body to back-lit dynamic ambient lighting effects.
A high degree of integrated HMI functional touch sensitivity.
A scalable and yet viable solution potentially being rolled out on additional BMW components.
A concept pioneering into new material and processing categories.
BMW and Valeo needed assurance that polycarbonate—not other material concepts—was the best material solution.
"The new BMW 7 Series is absolutely trail-blazing in every respect. Like no other model, the BMW 7 Series stands for BMW's innovative strength"
A tailored concept of an innovative component combining solutions in technology, process and suitable materials.
A high purity, highly transparent tailored Makrolon Ai® grade material
An innovative Direct Coating process that is fully integrated into the injection molding process
A network of technology partners carefully coordinating different technology-product-process elements
A series of joint trials relying on suitable processing equipment
“When we saw the challenge at hand, we had our doubts about the feasibility of a conventional solution. The combination of our high purity Makrolon® Ai with our Direct Coating process has been a pioneering step for highly transparent functional parts”
- Optically bright, vibrant and consistent colors Makrolon® Ai proved to be an excellent material choice transporting clean light as well as vibrant color effects across the entire length and varying thickness of the interaction bar. It exquisitely supports surface touch sensitivity, thus delivering various HMI functions for this automotive component.
- Superior surface quality The Direct Coating process supports haptic functionalization of part surfaces, glossy part appearance and does not impair transparency either.
- Obsolete secondary process The Direct Coating technology takes out unnecessary secondary processing steps, making a release straight out of the injection moulding process possible and thus reducing cycle times without compromising on appearance and light transmission.
- Reduced reject rates The combination of Makrolon® Ai and the Direct Coating and injection moulding processes kept contamination throughout the process to a minimum, which meant reject rates dropped significantly.