Resins That Can Enable OEMs and Tiers to Take Vision a Step Beyond
GE Plastics, a business of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), has introduced automobile stylists and engineers to six new Visualfx(TM) resins that are based on an exclusive 2002 color and effects guide developed by fashion and aesthetics forecaster Agence de Style Peclers of Paris.
"The Peclers color and effect guide represents the voice of 1,000 customers," said Keith Dunlap, North American plastics marketing program manager for aesthetics. "It predicts consumer desires for manufacturers and designers. It answers the questions: What will be the effects and colors of tomorrow? What approach will manufacturers and designers adopt for them? What will sell?"
With insight into what will be "in" tomorrow, GE Plastics unveiled to an automotive audience during the SAE 2002 World Conference its newest Visualfx resin portfolio of effects - Enyo(TM), Lustre(TM), Glass(TM), Make-Up(TM), Smoke(TM), and Frost(TM) resins - which are formulated to inspire industrial designers to explore, think, and envision how this innovative new collection of engineering thermoplastics can help their existing and new products gain an edge in the marketplace.
Designers are already envisioning ways in which they can differentiate future products with the latest effects in the Visualfx resin portfolio. Following a sneak preview of the new effects in August at the GE Plastics Customer Innovation Center in Selkirk, N.Y., many of the 30 designers who attended offered a common observation: Seeing the range of Visualfx resin effects sparks ideas of how we can create a decorative surface with a cost-competitive molded-through resin.
The six new Visualfx resins are formulated with the color and effect inherent in the pellet to create colorful and exceptionally rich looking parts out of the mold without the need for what can often be costly secondary paint and coating operations. They are based on comprehensive trend research conducted by the Agence de Style Peclers of Paris. The new effects will extend and enhance customer choice beyond the initial Visualfx portfolio launched in 2000, which includes Ares and Sparkle effects available in a GELOY(R) acrylic-styrene-acrylonitrile (ASA) resin blend for automotive applications that need weatherable properties.
"Our customers are saying, `Don't give me what I want, give me what I need,' " said Dunlap. "GE Plastics is now giving its customers materials based on identified trends that they will `need' to enhance their success." The new Visualfx resin effects include:
Available in LEXAN(R) polycarbonate (PC) resin, Enyo resin creates the appearance of tiny crystals and dramatic color changes. Enyo resin effects move through a spectrum of colors as the viewing angle changes, as opposed to the two-tone color shift of the Visualfx Intrigue effect, another angular metamurism offering. With Enyo resin effects, one can
|--||design parts that reflect light in dynamic, ever-changing fashion|
|--||choose from seven pigment colors in transparent or black base|
|--||use existing polycarbonate tooling usually without modifications|
Available in pre-compounded LEXAN resin pellets, Lustre resin reproduces the elegance of a pearl finish with a shiny, translucent base in soft pastel pinks and whites. Accent pieces made from Lustre resin on the body of an opaque part can be designed to simulate a mother-of-pearl accent or inlay. With Lustre resin effects, one can
|--||create a rich look in a wide variety of applications, from PDAs to personal care items|
|--||simulate mother-of-pearl accent|
|--||choose from five soft pastel base colors|
Available in CYCOLAC(R) acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and LEXAN resins, Glass resin simulates the appearance of stained glass or gems with deep, transparent colors. With Glass resin effects, one can
|--||recreate the "look" of old world art-form of stained glass in small appliances, personal care items, computers, and network devices|
|--||duplicate the deep, rich color of rubies, sapphires and emeralds|
|--||choose from seven gem-like colors|
Available in CYCOLOY(R) ABS/PC resin, Make-Up resin applies rich color and subtle sparkles for a voluptuous, satiny appearance. Make-Up resin effects combine the sparkle of a fine metallic flake with the continuous sheen of a colorful, opaque base. With Make-Up resin effects, one can
|--||dress up a product line with a fashion-forward edge|
|--||dramatize devices with radiant color and a satin sheen|
|--||choose from four colors, including terracotta, powder blue, and deep lime green|
Available in LEXAN resin, whether designers want to achieve a playful or mysterious look, the sheer quality of translucent Smoke resins can help their products achieve perfect harmony. Smoke resin effects feature a translucent base with diffuser in a palette of grays and browns. With Smoke resin effects, one can
|--||create cool and mysterious looks|
|--||give a smoldering accent to plastic parts|
|--||choose from five colors, including dark grays and browns|
Available in LEXAN resin, Frost resin captures the power of arctic light in your products. Frost resin effects use both brightener and diffuser to achieve subtle hues of pale, translucent color, without sparkle or sheen. With Frost resin effects, one can
|--||evoke arcs of light for heavenly accents|
|--||choose from five colors, including pale blues and oranges|
In 2000, color technologists at GE Plastics developed the first Visualfx portfolio of effects to help companies such as Qualcomm, 3Com, Iomega, and Starbucks gain an edge in the marketplace with refined resin textures, hues, and effects. From the "gotta have" cell phone to "fun stuff" data storage devices, industrial designers and OEM marketers have used the 10 initial effects to help products stand out and provide increased brand equity.
"GE Plastics has invested a great deal in materials research and tools for design," said Dunlap. "The company also has its own studio at Polymer Solutions Inc., a joint venture with the industrial design giant Fitch Richardson Smith Inc., and four Customer Innovation Centers (Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands; Selkirk N.Y.; Pleasanton, Calif., and Shanghai, China) where product designers can define needs, explore new design methodologies, create new colors, and customize effects from the Visualfx resin portfolio. This team continually analyzes new design trends and emerging consumer styles."
GE Plastics is a leading global manufacturer of high performance engineering thermoplastics, with manufacturing facilities and technology and innovation centers around the world. GE Plastics supplies a spectrum of high performance resins and application development resources to help its customers achieve a competitive edge through performance and design differentiation.
For more information on the Visualfx portfolio of special effects, visit www.gevisualfx.com.
LEXAN, GELOY, CYCOLOY, and CYCOLAC are registered trademarks of General Electric Company. Visualfx, Enyo, Lustre, Glass, Make-Up, Smoke, and Frost are trademarks of General Electric Company.
CONTACT: GE Plastics James "Jay" Pomeroy, 413/448-7481 Email Contact KEYWORD: CONNECTICUT MICHIGAN INDUSTRY KEYWORD: CHEMICALS/PLASTICS MANUFACTURING AUTOMOTIVE SOURCE: GE Plastics