EVCO Plastics 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 pre-printed 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.
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:
High quality and visually impressive graphics
Ability to use flat, curved or 3D formed labels and graphics
Elimination of secondary labeling and decorating operations and costs, since injection molding and labeling / decorating are accomplished in one step
Elimination of adhesives Ability to apply labels and graphics on plastic in one step, unlike pressure sensitive labels
Ability to apply labels and graphics on plastic parts and container’s sides and bottom all in one step, unlike pressure sensitive labeling
Label inventory reduction
Ability to achieve high abrasion and chemical resistance using special hard coatings
Easy design variations by changing labeling film or graphic inserts, even in the same part run
Continuous image transfers with high positioning tolerances
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.