Custom Plastic In-Mold Decorating(IMD) And In-Mold Labeling(IML)
Ego Manufacturing Group has extensive experience with all types and sizes of custom plastic in-mold decorating (IMD) and in-mold labeling (IML) and continues to develop specialized solutions with this technology for a wide range of industries and applications.
In-mold decorating (IMD) or in-mold labeling (IML) is a process for decorating or labeling injection molded plastic parts or components during the plastic injection molding cycle.
In the in-mold decorating (IMD) or in-mold labeling (IML) process, a preprinted label or decorated appliqué film is inserted in the open plastic injection mold and held in place via vacuum ports, electrostatic charge or other method. The plastic injection mold is then closed and the plastic resin injected to mold the part, encapsulating the decoration or label permanently within the finished injection molded part.
Advantages of IMD & IML
The in-mold decorating (IMD) and in-mold labeling (IML) technology enables design flexibility and productivity advantages over traditional post-molding labeling and decorating technologies, including use of multiple colors, effects and textures in a single operation, long-lasting and durable graphics, and overall labeling and decorating cost reductions.
With in-mold labeling (IML) and in-mold decorating (IMD), labeling and decorating are complete in the plastic injection molded process, so no secondary operations are required, eliminating post-molding labeling and decorating labor and equipment costs and time. In addition, design and graphic variations are easily achieved by simply changing to different label films or graphic inserts in the same part run.
The use of in-mold decorating (IMD) and in-mold labeling (IML) results in high quality and visually impressive graphics and finished parts. The graphics and labeling are also very durable and long lasting, since they are encapsulated in the resin as part of the finished molded plastic part. In fact, the graphics are essentially impossible to remove without destroying the plastic part. With the right films and coatings, in-mold decorated and in-mold labeled graphics will not fade and remain vibrant for the life of the molded plastic part.
In-mold decorating (IMD) and in-mold labeling (IML) advantages include:
a. High quality and visually impressive graphics
b. Ability to use flat, curved or 3D-formed labels and graphics
c. Elimination of secondary labeling and decorating operations and costs, since injection molding and labeling/decorating are accomplished in one step
d. Elimination of adhesives with ability to apply labels and graphics on plastic in one step, unlike pressure sensitive labels
e. Ability to apply labels and graphics on plastic parts and containers’ sides and bottoms all in one step, unlike pressure-sensitive labeling
f. Label inventory reduction
g. Ability to achieve high abrasion and chemical resistance using special hard coatings
h. Easy design variations by changing labeling film or graphic inserts, even in the same part run
i. Continuous image transfers with high positioning tolerances
j. Wide range of colors, effects, textures and graphic options
EVCO Plastics in-mold labeling (IML) and in-mold decorating (IMD) can be employed on parts molded in our Class 100,000 (ISO Class 8) clean room.
In-mold decorating (IMD) and in-mold labeling (IML) has become the process of choice for high quality, durable labeling and graphics, employed by many industries in a wide range of applications, a few of which include:
a. Medical devices
b. Large parts and components
c. Consumer products
d. Automotive components
e. Plastic housings
f. Personal telecommunication devices
g. Computer components
h. Food packaging cups, trays, containers, tubs
i. Instrument panels
j. Consumer handheld devices
k. Lawn and garden equipment
l. Storage containers
IMD & IML Advantages Over Other Post Molding Decoration & Labeling
In-mold decorating (IMD) and in-mold labeling (IML) are high-quality, efficient, durable, cost-effective alternatives to pad printing, painting and other post-molding forms of applying graphics and labeling. In-mold decorating (IMD) and in-mold labeling (IML) provide design flexibility and effects that cannot be achieved with other processes and offer the enhanced graphics desired for competitive advantage in today’s market.
In-Mold Decorating Compared to Pad Printing
a. More economical for multiple colors
b. Second surface graphic
c. Greater ink opacity
d. Increased design options
In-Mold Decorating Compared to Pressure Sensitive Labels
a. Eliminates secondary operations
b. Eliminates adhesives and issues with adhesive application
c. Ability to apply labels on plastic part or container sides and bottoms in one step
d. Creates an integrated look
e. More durable and tamper-proof
In-Mold Decorating Compared to Direct Printing
a. Eliminates secondary operations
b. More durable and tamper-proof
c. Graphics can extend around a radius
d. Enhanced 3D effects and surface finishes
In-mold decorating (IMD) and in-mold labeling (IML) require proper mold design and construction for accurate placement and reliability, Ego Manufacturing Group in-house engineering and mold design and building teams are highly experienced and often employ robotic automation as part of the process for increased speed and accuracy.
From concept to delivery, Ego provides competitive advantage in custom injection molded plastics through early production team involvement in the design and engineering phase, design for manufacturability, project management, in-house mold building, material selection support.