INSIDE WALTER PACK
Forecasting trends; painting the colours of the future; defining luxury; creating comfort, designing emotions… and combining it all with full functionality and manageability. We’re seeing an increasingly sophisticated and competitive market in almost every field, but there are certain sectors that require innovative solutions with exclusive designs and exceptional performance, including automotive and household appliances.
These sectors are abandoning conventional methods in their search for excellence in the solutions they offer. Sectors that require allies and partners capable of providing value, knowledge and inspiration and who are always at the cutting edge.
Since its creation, Walter Pack has been committed to design, functionality and excellence in the manufacture of plastic components with high added value. This commitment, which is now one of its hallmarks, is best showcased by its Color&Trim Department, a design lab with a holistic approach where colours are designed and the most exclusive materials and finishes are chosen for the coating of interior and exterior automotive parts, among many other components. The aim is simple: to transmit sensations, inspire emotions and illuminate new experiences.
Many manufacturers make similar commitments, especially in the automotive world. However, it is difficult to find a supplier company that excels in this challenge and has the capacity to become an outstanding ally that can add exceptional and exclusive value.
The automotive sector is one of the most demanding when it comes to quality finishing; the interior of one’s vehicle is akin to a third living space that calls for natural materials, luxurious finishes, subtle decor and advanced functionality. As explained by Sonia López, head of the Color & Trim department at Walter Pack,
the user seeks the authenticity of high-quality haptic materials and finishes that they can touch and enjoy.”
Trust and understanding
To create this experience, it is not only necessary for the company and its supplier to work together, there also needs to be a level of understanding and trust that speeds up and inspires the creation of new designs. “Today, personal relationships are more important than ever, we want to know who we’re working with and be able to trust them,” explains Sonia López.To configure unique solutions, personal interaction needs to be complemented with expertise and know-how, and that’s where the C&T department comes in. Their search for advanced components keeps them a step ahead of the market, reading today’s designs to forge tomorrow’s trends. How do they do this?
By constantly searching for sources of inspiration, drawing on a deep knowledge of the market and an innovative core.
“The search for inspiration is a continuous activity, we collect colours, textures and effects that we see in everyday life. We find colour palettes and organic textures in nature that we try to reproduce in graphics; and we’re inspired by cities – their transgressive combinations of colours and materials in continuous movement and change,” explains Sonia López.
The sources of inspiration are as diverse as life itself: fashion, architecture, product design, events, exhibitions, workshops… Each experience translates into sensations and impulses that the C&T team uses to guide their creativity. We look for the essence of natural materials such as wood, cork, aluminum or metallic and transparent finishes, we also explore the technical textures with mixtures of colours produced by screen printing.
This research process culminates in the creation of an annual trend box that includes the department’s proposals which is sent to the original equipment manufacturers (OEMS). This trend box comprises tangible solutions made with Walter Pack technology that have already been produced and are ready to manufacture so that OEMS can have a physical model.
The basis of this process is communication with the customer. An idea, a need or even a dream can be enough to activate the search, study its feasibility and start the virtual design phase. Here, colours, graphics and finishes are defined prior to the preparation of a physical sample.
Next comes the In-Mold Decoration (IMD) technology: in this phase, the designs are printed onto the injected plastic piece by means of the transfer of inks and the coating applied to the Carrier film that runs from the cavity of the injection mold. This technique is complementary to In-Mold Forming (IMF) technology, which produces three-dimensional plastic parts with printed decorative finishes of optimum quality.Walter Pack combines these technologies with smart elements from its internal R&D department to illuminate effects such as backlighting which alters the appearance of the interior of the vehicle depending on whether it’s day or night.
Not only can these solutions be implemented in other sectors such as the white line, HMI technology screens and Smart Solutions, but they can also help to create the car trends of the future: electric vehicles; autonomous or shared driving; the incorporation of sustainable materials; sophisticated details, interiors designed with customisable elements and warm intimate tones, while ensuring safety.All this, without losing sight of the sustainability of materials and the improvement of processes that Walter Pack brings to the table in the pursuit of greener solutions. These elements are what make the Color & Trim department an investment in the future that underlines Walter Pack’s commitment to accompanying its customers in the development of their solutions and the evolution of the industrial sector.