ikonics digital texturing.automotiveIT

Ikonics says digital texturing can produce higher quality surfaces at lower cost (Photo: Ikonics)

Ikonics , a Duluth-based imaging technology company, said it will start selling its digital texturing technology (DTX) to the Japanese auto industry through a distribution agreement it has signed with Kurabo Industries Ltd.

Kurabo is a diversified Japanese textile and electronics company.

Ikonics is introducing its patented DTX technology to the worldwide mold texturing industry. Mold texturing is used primarily to put textured surfaces in automobile interiors, but it can also be used on different surfaces. The technology, which Ikonics says generates cost savings and provides higher quality, has been used most recently in the Chevrolet Volt and Camaro, and in several Volkswagen and Chrysler group models.

Bill Ulland, Ikonics CEO, said Kurabo's expertise in digital printing makes the company a strong partner to help with sales to Japanese carmakers. "The initial reaction of Japanese automakers to our technology and this alliance has been very encouraging," he said.

Masayuki Fukui, representative director of Kurabo, said the alliance between the two companies will help Kurabo expand its digital priting business into the mold making industry.

"I believe the Ikonics DTX technology is a great solution to the needs of the mold texturing industry and will help that industry change from its traditional methods to an inkjet technology that will contribute to increased productivity and environmental protection," he said in a statement.

Ikonics last month reported a 26 pc increase in second-quarter sales to 4.59 million dlrs. Earnings fell 10 pc to 310,000 dlrs, mostly as a result of higher petro-chemical costs and expenses related to new business initiatives.