In Mold Labeling (IML) is an injection molding process whereby the decoration of the plastic part, using a label, is produced during the plastic injection process. Simply put, a preprinted label is inserted via automation into the cavity of an injection mold and plastic is injected over the label. This produces a decorated / “labeled” plastic part in which the label is permanently fused to the part itself.
The IML market continues to experience rapid growth and adoption in a variety of end markets. These markets include many high volume consumer applications including food packaging, industrial containers, household goods, confectionary, and personal care items, to name a few.
There are many technical and commercial advantages of IML over using stick-on labels or conventional printing methods. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Visually appealing plastic parts
• Greater flexibility in part designs over conventionally printed products
• Environmentally friendly packaging – single plastic material to be recycled
• Space efficiency in non-round over round packaging
• Single process of injection molding and decorating – elimination of secondary processes and staged inventory requirements
• Volume appropriate production runs – elimination of set-up scrap in printing
In-Mold Labeling Container (IML) products have expanded rapidly to new market applications with 1-, 3- and 5-sided and wrap-around applications for event cups and household cleaners to ice cream, paint and coatings, personal care, yogurts, prepared meals, and condiments.
Our experience with high speed, high cavitation systems is well suited to IML projects to coordinate the needs of molders, label suppliers, material suppliers, and end users.
StackTeck has delivered award-winning In-Mold Labeling Container (IML) molds and automated systems to customers in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.
StackTeck has built over 300 IML molds (50 of them being stack molds of up to 32 cavities).
See StackTeck’s most recent IMDA Award.