In-mold labeling (IML) describes a fully automated process in which the pre-printed IML film label is placed in the mold before the container is created. The label seamlessly fuses to the hot plastic material as its being molded, combining the production and labeling processes and eliminating the need for post-mold labeling. After curing, the container and the label become a single water- and scratch-resistant piece. This process is more efficient than other labeling methods, leading to less waste and resulting in a product that is both durable and easily recyclable / regrindable.
Blow Mold or Injection Mold?
In-mold labeling refers to the process of applying product labels to the container while manufacturing the container. Depending on your needs, there are different ways to mold the plastic containers. With injection molding, heated plastic or polypropylene is injected into a mold. It’s commonly used for producing small containers, like butter tubs or ice cream containers. However, in-mold labeling was initially designed for blow molding, in which manufacturers blow air to expand molten plastic into a mold, much like glass blowing.
With blow mold labeling, the labels are placed in the mold before a mass of heated plastic is blown into it, capturing the desired container shape and applying the label in one step. As the plastic cools, the label is infused into the material, becoming inseparable. Popular for hollow plastic bottles and similar closed containers, manufacturers often prefer the blow mold labeling process to make waterproof containers for a variety of consumer products.
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Post time: May-21-2021