In-mould labelling (IML) is a technology that is becoming increasingly popular in various industries. It is a process where the worker places the pre-printed label in the mould before injecting the molten plastic and fusing the label with the product during the moulding process.
This guide will explore the advantages of in-mould labelling, its process, applications, and challenges that businesses should consider before adopting this technology.
Advantages of In-Mould Labelling
In-mould labels are highly durable due to the fusion of the label with the product, making them highly resistant to wear and tear. Unlike traditional labels, in-mould labels do not fade, peel, or crack, ensuring the product’s label stays intact throughout its lifecycle. However, you must contact the best Conveying Machine Supplier to resist scratches when transporting the packages.
Increased Design Flexibility
In-mould labelling allows designers to experiment with various design options, including high-resolution graphics and vibrant colours. The technology allows for complex designs, making it an ideal solution for brands that want to differentiate their products from their competitors.
Improved Product Appearance
Fusing the label with the product during moulding gives products a premium look and feel. The label becomes an integral part of the product, enhancing its visual appeal and making it stand out on the shelves. Product appearance stays intact when transported efficiently until the label completely dries off. For this, connect with a reliable conveying machine supplier.
In-mould labelling eliminates the need for additional labelling processes such as printing, labelling, and adhesive application, reducing labour costs and increasing efficiency. Additionally, in-mould labelling enables brands to reduce inventory costs, as products can be labelled on-demand as required.
In-mould labelling is an eco-friendly solution, eliminating the need for additional packaging materials such as adhesive and liner. In-mould labels also use less material than traditional labels, reducing waste and making it an attractive option for companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
Resistance to Environmental Factors
In-mould labels resist environmental factors such as moisture, heat, and chemicals. It makes them ideal for products that require a label that can withstand harsh environments, such as outdoor equipment and automotive components.
In-Mould Labelling Process
Explanation of the Process
The In-mould labelling process involves placing a pre-printed label in the mould before injecting the molten plastic and fusing the label with the product. This process ensures that the label becomes an integral part of the product, enhancing its durability and visual appeal.
Comparison to Traditional Labelling
In contrast, traditional labelling involves printing the label separately and then applying it to the product using an adhesive, creating a risk of the label peeling or falling off over time.
Businesses need specialised equipment that can perform the labelling process within the mould. This equipment includes an injection moulding machine, a label feeder, a label pick-up robot, and a cooling system. The equipment cost can vary depending on the size and complexity of the labelling process, making it essential for businesses to conduct a cost-benefit analysis before investing in the technology.
Applications of In-Mould Labelling
In-mould labelling is common for consumer products such as plastic containers, toys, and electronic devices. It enables manufacturers to create high-quality graphics and unique designs, enhancing the product’s visual appeal and creating a competitive advantage.
Food and Beverage Packaging
In-mould labelling is a popular choice for food and beverage packaging due to its durability, moisture resistance, and ability to withstand temperature changes. Labelling also ensures that the label remains intact even in wet environments, making it an ideal choice for food and beverage packaging.
In-mould labelling is cost-effective for industrial products such as pails, drums, and crates. The labels on these products need to be highly durable and resistant to harsh environments, making in-mould labelling an ideal option.
In-mould labelling is a common solution for automotive components such as dashboards, door panels, and steering wheels. Labelling ensures the label remains intact despite the wear and tear associated with automotive parts.
Challenges and Solutions
The main challenge of implementing in-mould labelling is the cost of equipment. However, businesses can overcome this challenge by conducting a cost-benefit analysis and identifying the potential return on investment of the technology.
Product and Design Limitations
In-mould labelling has limitations in terms of product and design complexity. Complex products or designs may not be suitable for the in-mould labelling process. Businesses should consult a labelling expert to determine if the technology is viable.
The labelling process requires the use of specific materials that are compatible with the injection moulding process. Businesses must ensure that the label material is consistent with the plastic used in the injection moulding.
In-mould labelling requires strict quality control processes to ensure the label is fused correctly with the product. Businesses must implement quality control processes to ensure the labels meet the required standards and remain intact throughout the product lifecycle.
In-mould labelling is a technology that offers numerous advantages, including enhanced durability, increased design flexibility, improved product appearance, cost-effectiveness, sustainability benefits, and resistance to environmental factors.
The technology applies to various applications, including consumer products, food and beverage packaging, industrial products, and automotive components. However, businesses should consider the challenges associated with the technology, including equipment investment, product and design limitations, material compatibility, and quality control.
Overall, in-mould labelling is a valuable technology that businesses should consider to enhance their product labelling and branding efforts. Also, trust the experts at Profile Solutions USA.