What do you think about in-mold labeling/decoration?
I'm fairly new to the in-mold industry, and I'm curious in learning more about the trends in value-added process for in-molding. Does your company currently implement value-added processes? If so, which do you currently use? It seems like IML and IMD are becoming "hot buttons" in the industry, so are you currently implementing this technology, or have you thought about it? My company works with molders to provide labels for this technology, but I am surprised by the contrast of companies who use it and love it, and companies who have never heard of it or have no use for it. I know a lot of it depends on the parts being produced, but I'd like to hear what you think about this technology and other value-added processes. Thanks!
I wanted to incorporate this technology/advancement in the components manufactured for vehicles about 10 years ago. I noticed the use of this material at the Chicago Plastics show and believed it could work well in our applications but needed to be tested.
The industry currently uses labels on the top of power distribution boxes, electronics and so on. The other option is pad printing uses in Asian Brands for the most part.
It all comes down to chemical resistance and environmental stability and willingness of the automotive leaders to make the specification changes. I don't know if your product line has evolved enough to put the material in vehicle on a large scale but there is certainly opportunity.
Hope this information helps...
I consider that this technology is a good advance that is success in many different sectors.
Our company Gestion de Compras is a company formed by purchasing, quality and manufacturing professionals created in response to many companies’ needs to improve their acquisition cost for products and materials.
Gestion de Compras is focused in searching and getting new suppliers, from emergent and consolidated markets, which provide to your company the necessary competitiveness in the current global scene.
What are the investments for the automation and how easy is it to re-configure for different production jobs?
What is the average cost of the label in this case?
IML/IMD technology has significantly advanced in the past few years. Digital printing has improved, allowing greater flexibility and personalization, like the work Vibrant Graphics is doing. Their customers can decorate their products with beautiful color images with variable print or personalization. On the durable side, we've introduced in-mold labels with resistance to harsh chemicals (isopropyl alcohol, gasoline, MEK, etc) and long-term fade resistance. We're in final testing of a material that will withstand exposure to sulfuric acid and 10+ years outdoor sunlight. So, the industry is evolving to develop products for nearly every application...
...Which will sit on a shelf somewhere unless manufacturers choose to use the products. So the big question is: What entices a manufacturer to switch to this new technology? Is it improved quality over post-mold decorating options? Labor savings by automating label application? The ability to enhance the appearance of the product through better graphics/personalization?