Conditioning of car leather in the drying oven

Compared to the automotive industry, there is hardly any other branch where quality assurance plays such an important role. This does not only apply to the major car manufacturers, but also to companies such as Auto Leder Atelier that retrofit leather seats. For all types of seats, the general operating licence is steadily renewed and of course also the internal quality assurance is integrated in the quality management acc. to DIN ISO 9001.

Especially in Germany, the residual value development of used cars has been subject to to enormous fluctuations during the last years. Long downtime and decreasing sales revenues worsen the mood of dealers, leasing companies and private individuals. In 2006, the company Auto Leder Atelier (ALeA) detected a new trend in Hofstetten, Bavaria, which has increasingly become mainstream. With high-quality leather upholstery, the value of used cars can be increased. In addition to this, the client pays considerably less than for the manufacturer´s standard equipment.

It has become a trend to retrofit leather upholstery 

Meanwhile, ALeA also retrofits leather seats for new cars, vintage cars and special vehicles, and covers steering wheels, headliners and handles with leather. Experienced partner companies in China sew the European leather. Before the vehicles are retrofitted with leather upholstery in Germany, quality assurance and assembly preparation is carried out under the supervision of program manager Mario Haufe, and by using a Memmert drying oven UN750plus.

Conditioning of automotive leather in the drying oven 

Like every natural material, leather reacts to environmental influences such as humidity and heat. Therefore, the cut leather is conditioned at constant temperatures in the drying oven for several hours, before plastic parts are covered. This avoids subsequent shrinking or expansion in the vehicle. In addition to this, Auto Leder Atelier uses the Memmert UN750plus to activate two-component adhesive. After applying the adhesive, the parts are heated in the drying oven for a defined period of time between 80 and 120 °C.  The influence of temperature makes the adhesive cure faster and harder after joining.

Process-dependent door lock and alarm

The appliance offers a process-dependent door lock option. In addition to this, the drying oven was equipped with a process dependent alarm by the Memmert custom products team. Optical and acoustic alarms indicate whether a program is running in the oven, and when it is finished. Besides the good price/performance ratio, especially the possibility to programme processes time-dependently was an important purchasing criterion for Auto Leder Atelier in Hofstetten. In addition to this, the easy operation of the device and the possibility to permanently document all processes were significant. There are in-house specifications for the maximum tolerance of the temperature deviation, the adherence of which is monitored by laser temperature measurement devices during and after component storage.

AtmoSAFE would like to thank Auto Leder Atelier and especially Mr Haufe for their friendly support in creating this article