In Mold Labeling (IML) is an advanced manufacturing technique that consists of combining injection molding and labelling of a plastic container in the same seamless process.
In these type of production systems, the label is placed inside an open mould (1) with the help of a robot or any other automation solution (2). The mould is then closed (3) and the plastic resin is injected into the mould (4). The result is that the injected plastic material fuses with the label, becoming an integral part of the finished product (5).
Among the advantages of this process, we would like to highlight that the packaging obtained is 100% recyclable. The label can achieve high quality printing and surfae finish, allowing for better differentiation options. Moreover, it won’t be necessary to add labelling machinery to the production line, as everything is done through one single process. This allows for saving space in plant, energy and labor, reducing the overall cost of production.
Currently, IML in the food & beverage industry is used for butter/margarine tubs, ice cream or yoghurt buckets, etc. It is also used in the cosmetics industry for shampoo or lotion containers, among others.
At PET Packaging Network (PPN), and under the framework provided by Food & Beverage Processing Network (FBN), we have been developing suppliers from Asia over the last few years to make the advantages of this new production technology available to our customers.