IML injection molding machine
In-mold labeling IML injection machine is a labeling method in which a pre-printed decorative label is inserted into the mold before the plastic container is formed into the mold. Pellets of plastic or resin are heated and placed in a mold, where they fuse with the label to create a single product.
In-mold labeling is mostly used for thin-walled disposable items such as packaging for consumer products that have a shorter shelf life. Companies in the food, personal care, household and cosmetics industries often use IML to brand their packaging.
Plastic containers are produced by labeling inside the mold in two ways, both with a plastic injection machine and with an inflatable plastic machine.
Types of labeling processes within the mold
IML injection machine (pictured above) – In injection molding, the design label is inserted into the mold before fusing with the container. After the plastic pellets are heated, the resin is injected into the mold, where it blends seamlessly with the label.
IML Blow Molding Machine – Like an injection molding machine, the label is inserted into the mold before it is combined with the plastic. However, instead of injecting the plastic into the mold, it is blown using a stream of air. Once expanded to the desired shape, the label blends with the container wall.
Advantages of the IML injection device
1) Design quality
In-format labeling provides colors and high-resolution images for labels. IML is compatible with a wide range of colors and can be displayed on both sides of the package. Labeling is a powerful platform for enhancing graphic effects that allows business owners to respond to creative design ideas using flat, curved or 3D graphics.
The label blends with the plastic, giving the in-mold chamber a clean, smooth, seamless, label-free appearance, as opposed to post-mold labeling (PML). This label remains intact throughout its lifetime and is highly impact resistant.
The water resistance of in-mold labeling makes it a reliable labeling option that can withstand both wet environments and extreme temperature fluctuations (freezing/cooling conditions). Unlike pressure-sensitive labeling, IML is a permanent design method with excellent impact and scratch resistance because it is permanently attached to the container.
In-mold labeling containers have the potential to be impervious to abrasion and chemicals depending on the hard coatings used to produce the manufactured goods.
Traditional pressure-sensitive labeling methods require adhesives that are not accepted by every recycling plant. Since both the container and the label are combined without an external adhesive, plastic products with IML can be environmentally friendly and fully recyclable, depending on the type of plastic resin used to manufacture the product.
Since IML containers are fully recyclable, they are eligible to become PCR products, which can help reduce carbon emissions and have a positive impact on the environment.
For mass production, in-mold labeling containers require less production time because they are manufactured and decorated in one step to form a single product. Compared to PML, in-mold labeling is usually more cost-effective because it costs no time, labor, or floor space. IML also reduces cost, such as paper labels and adhesives after molding.
Is the IML injection machine right for you?
While IML has many advantages, in some scenarios conventional labeling may be the best option for you depending on your needs. Here are some factors to consider if IML is the best labeling option for your needs:
Increased delivery time
Because IML requires special mold design and fabrication for placement and reliability, the time between start and finish of the manufacturing process is longer compared to other labeling methods.
High minimum order quantity
Minimum order quantities are typically higher for in-mold labeling compared to traditional labeling methods due to the setup cost associated with precise positioning and complex design. For large businesses, in-mold labeling is a valuable method because the cost per container is lower in mass-produced quantities.
What materials are used for the IML injection device?
The two types of plastic used in IML injection molding machines to make containers with labels in the mold are high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP).
Common applications of the IML injection device
Personal care products such as bottles of shampoo, toothpaste and soap
Food packaging includes ice cream containers, yogurt containers, butter containers, and ready-to-eat containers for soups, salads, and sweets
Cosmetic packaging for sunscreen, lotion, etc.
Household products such as major cleaning supplies, laundry detergents and fabric softeners
What are some design considerations when using labeling in a template?
What does your dish look like? Round? Square? What surface consistency do you want your dish to have? smooth? Textured? Do you want your container to be clear, shiny or white? By answering these questions, label suppliers can help determine whether the container needs an autoclave grade or ultra clear resin.
What is the use of your product?
If your product is in fluctuating temperature environments, it needs special chemicals to coat and protect the container from harsh conditions so that the plastic lasts.
How much is your dish?
If you have a small container, the ingredient label is not placed on the body of the container and must be placed on the lid or bottom of the container.
Where do you want your label to be printed on the container?
Paying attention to where you print your label can prevent distortion of your design. Knowing where to inject plastic into the mold can help prevent injection mislabeling.
Price and purchase of IML injection machine
If you are looking for an IML injection machine or other plastic injection machines to produce your packaging products, you can contact our sales experts through communication channels and get the advice and guidance you want.