PERFECTION HAS A NAME. WORLDWIDE.
Ever since 1969, innovative technologies and the tradesmen’s skills have marked KRÜTH’s path toward modern surfacing of tools. EtchingEngraving, Laser-EtchingEngraving and 3D-LaserEngraving demonstrate the innovative drive and the success of a family-owned company, active all around the world.
WE ARE INNOVATIVE. AS A MATTER OF TRADITION.
Traditionally, ornaments were etched in workpieces by damascening. When KRÜTH was founded, this technique was used to lend decorative structures to the tools that were intended for a wide variety of purposes.
Since about 1950, the surfaces of injection molds were etched and provided with engravings so that plastic parts could be manufactured in a subsequent casting process. Today, using the most modern technology, innovative engravings, symbols, emblems, and lettering are imprinted on the surfaces of such tools.
Production site opened in Portugal
High-resolution scanner technology
Second laser for large molds
First laser machine for molds exceeding 3.5 t
Department opened for Laser-EtchingEngraving and 3D-LaserEngraving
Presentation of the “Living Corporate Culture” award
Took over the company SET Form-Ätz-Technik
EtchingEngraving with double-gloss
Electroplating department for NiOn100 and NiOn200
Launch of KRÜTH do Brasil in São Bernardo, near São Paulo
Porcerax II® lauded by the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI)
Takeover of the “Vereinigten Werkstätten”
KRÜTH IMS founded by KRÜTH and Int. Mold Steel
Mono‑ and double-gloss finishing of nickel shells
EtchingEngraving with multilayer films
Founding of the KRÜTH company
EtchingEngraving; first steel molds
Even in the Middle Ages, blacksmiths in Solingen experimented with using etching to finish surfaces. The high-quality steel originated in Damascus. This steel was used for the decorated blades of swords and daggers. Damascus steel comprised multiple layers of steels, varying in alloy and hardness, which were then welded together. But only with the etching process, using special acids, did the stacked layers of steel become visible. The individual steel alloys responded differently to the acid used here.
The lettering, ornaments and symbols etched on sabers, armor, swords, daggers and other instruments of war demonstrated the singularity of the arms and indicated that the wearer was a member of the knighthood.
PERFECTION FOR ALL THE SENSES.
Every surface structure is unique in nature and requires individual attention. In general, the optical and tactile features, paired with depth and gloss, determine the impression made by the surface. Through in-depth discussions with our customers we learn important facts about the products. We integrate this information into our concepts for the development of the design. The customer’s definitions of the visual, tactile and acoustic effects, function, and specifications for the engraving are worked out here.
Consulting is provided by:
Today KRÜTH has two locations in Solingen, where the latest in 3D-Laser-Engraving and Laser-Etching-Engraving are carried out, along with traditional Etching-Engraving. Two further locations, in Austria and Portugal, use classical techniques in production.
In the conferences that precede this step, all the formal and technical details will have been discussed using parts that have not been yet been structured. Transitions in the engraving and sections with lower relief are specified while taking account of draft angles. Also possible, depending on the technology being used, is evaluating CAD data in advance and conducting feasibility studies to support the process. It is important to satisfy the visual, tactile and acoustic requirements as well as the needs listed in the specifications for the function, always taking account of the technology being used. Another objective is achieving a uniform degree of gloss from one item to the next.
COMPLETELY DIGITAL AND VIRTUALLY UNLIMITED.
3D-LaserEngraving is effected with the most modern, fully digital technology for maximum performance. This makes possible virtually endless design options for innovative and individual textures. In this process, the engraving is applied directly to the steel surface of the mold with a five-axis fiber laser, working in every dimension. The successive build-up of the topography for the engraving takes place in individual ablation steps, removing layers of varying thicknesses. The number of layers and steps determines the depth and the three-dimensionality of the engraving.
Conducting feasibility analyses using the CAD data makes it possible, in advance of production, to precisely evaluate how accessible the tools are and to estimate feasibility. The advance digital step offers many opportunities for inspection and correction. Texture mapping also makes it possible to evaluate, at near-real-life conditions, all the details of the optics and the quality of the engraving. The CAD visualization is used here. In a texture mapping process prior to production, the engraving is projected onto the surface of the tool in a virtual depiction.
TRADITION MEETS HIGH-TECH.
Making use of combined digital and analog processes in Laser-EtchingEngraving, KRÜTH blends both traditional techniques and the latest in technology. The laser transfers the design to a protective enamel applied to the tool. The laser eats away the enamel, creating the engraving pattern, and preparing the steel for the subsequent etching process. The final engraving is created in an acid bath where the areas on the material’s surface which have been cleared by the laser are ablated. The process is completed once the surface has been rinsed and the degree of gloss has been adjusted. Depending on the engraving image desired, the process steps may be repeated a number of times. In addition to the so-called single-layer engravings, KRÜTH also makes up multi-layer engravings.
In a texture mapping process, prior to production, the engraving – as depicted in the CAD data – is contained in a virtual projection onto the surface of the mold. In this way the texture mappings can modified perfectly to suit the mold’s shape and the adjacent areas. Both 3D simulation and using a test checkerboard in the mold (lasered into the paint) make it possible to reliably monitor and evaluate the engraving. Texture mapping can also be laid out to span multiple parts. In mass production the same basis is always used for evaluating the engraving. This is true regardless of the structures.
A CLASSIC TRADE BROUGHT TO PERFECTION.
Depending on the technical requirements and the details of the design, a variety of transfer media and acids may be used in EtchingEngraving. The design is transferred by rubbing the classic wax print films or modern multilayer films. The latter are transparent and can readily be stretched. They let the skilled engraver make the best possible match to the shape of the mold. The desired engraving is then etched away in an acid bath. The surface of the material is ablated at the unprotected areas and the final engraved image is created. Rinsing the surface and adjusting the degree of gloss completes the process.
IT CAN’T BE ANY MORE ACCURATE – THE PERFECT IMAGE.
It is often the nearly invisible details that are nonetheless decisive for the surface’s overall impression. Precise monitoring and ongoing comparison with the engraved surfaces ensure that all the parameters – in terms of the structure, roughness, depth of the grain, and gloss – are retained throughout the entire manufacturing process.
Two ensure that the mold meets quality assurance expectations, different basic test options are used.
Upon agreement with the customer, an “engraving passport” can be issued for each engraving pattern.
THE ANSWER TO MOLD ENGINEERING.
To achieve a perfect cavity bleeding system, Porcerax II® offers an air-permeable steel. Its uniform microporosity lets air and gas escape through the mold itself. Venting problems, flow lines, gas fires, insufficient filling and the associated formation of burrs can be minimized by using Porcerax II® and even eliminated completely. The sintered material itself is noted for its great strength and hardness and good load-bearing capacities. It can be utilized as an ideal factor in process optimization.
600 x 300 x 210 mm (max. delivery sizes)
7 µm and 20 µm
approx. 25 %
approx. 38 HRC (as shipped from the factory)
up to approx. 58 HRC
Consulting is provided by:
MAT FINISHED, IN MONO– OR DOUBLE-GLOSS.
In order to lend a very natural character both to the surface of the nickel shells and to the ultimate product, the KRÜTH company offers a subsequent finishing step. The structure in the nickel shells can be assigned differing gloss values in the crests and the valleys to make the replication in the product even more authentic and to increase the reliability of the process. Over and above this, the finish for the engraving, either in mono– or double-gloss, offers a more homogenous impression, with higher quality visual appearance in mass-produced items.
Contact KRÜTH +49-212 38387-70 or get in touch with:
LIFE INSURANCE FOR MOLDS.
Even perfect engravings can be improved in regard to their physical properties and thus how they respond in production operations. The goal is to keep the quality of the mold’s surface uniform across the entire production cycle. KRÜTH offers two different NiOn coatings for this purpose. The protective nickel layer is applied chemically to the component, at uniform layer thickness.
Both types of coating enhance production reliability and the wear protection of the mold surfaces. This supports uniform quality across the entire batch. Both processes are reversible. Should it be necessary to remove the coating completely from the mold, then this can be done at KRÜTH.
NiOn100 enhances the slip properties in slide valves, for instance, so that greases can be done away with. In the foreground for this coating are improved protection against abrasion, reduced friction and thus perfect demolding from the tool. This anti-stick finish is a nickel dispersion layer with uniformly distributed, non-metallic PTFE particles embedded in its matrix.
NiOn200 is used whenever there are exceptionally high demands in terms of wear protection. Thanks to the nickel-phosphorous layer (NiP) applied here, the mold’s surface is extremely tough and withstands both wear and corrosion. This can increase the service life considerably during production.
Contact KRÜTH Sales for consulting or get in touch with:
FAR MORE THAN JUST SUPERFICIAL.
Surfaces are our passion. As a partner to a wide variety of industries, we consult and mentor our customers along the entire process chain.
From the initial design idea to the finished product, we are at your side with profound knowledge and experienced staff, offering you well-founded expertise in the fields of design, technology and mold engineering. We are satisfied only when you have a flawless product. To guarantee this over the long run, KRÜTH offers services to either optimize or repair engravings. Included here are both surface treatments such as polishing as well as laser and TIG welding – working with highly specialized partner firms. If an on-site repair should ever become necessary, then our technicians are deployed right to the production site.
SEC AROUND THE WORLD
KRÜTH operates through its worldwide SEC (Surface Etching Cooperation) network internationally with the technology EtchinEngraving.
GLG AROUND THE WORLD
GLG, die GlobalLaserGroup, has been established to provide customers around the world in 3D-LaserEngraving technique.
At a location a 45-minute drive north of Porto, KRÜTH has had a second subsidiary since the beginning of 2015. This plant is managed by Ms. Carla Frias.
SET KRÜTH Austria
For more than 20 years now, a subsidiary known as SET-KRÜTH, headquartered in Fohnsdorf, Austria, has processed surfaces for die casting molds and injection molding tools. Also handled here are tool optimization, service on molds as well as polishing work and welding in the course of repairs. Since November 2005 the KRÜTH Company is the owner of SET-KRÜTH and has appointed Mr. Gert Bedenk as the general manager.
A service point in Mexico is also being planned. Marred tool surfaces, showing minor scratches or damage, and adjustments to the gloss level can be effected close to the customers’ locations.
KRÜTH is located in Solingen, a city with a long tradition of craftsmanship.
J. & F. KRÜTH GmbH
Come see us sometime