In-mold labels (IML) have a heat activated adhesive applied to them that is
activated during the application process. It is a labeling technique that is
used in blow molded, injection molded and thermoformed containers. In-mold labeling
is a pre-decoration technique, which is the application of the label before
the container is full.
|In the labeling process the label is placed in the mold and
held in place by vacuum or other means. The mold is then closed and the
molten plastic resin is poured or injected into the mold. The heat from
the hot resin activates the adhesive, causing the label to adhere to the
container. The label becomes molded to the container wall. The label appears
as part of the container compared to a glue applied or pressure sensitive
labels that appears above the surface of the container. In-mold labels are
constructed of paper or film material, which must be able to tolerate the
heat from the molding process. In-mold labeling eliminates the need for
a separate labeling process, which saves the cost of additional labeling
equipment and the additional labor to run it.
The label material can be printed using several different printing processes,
such as flexography, offset, screen and hot stamping. In-mold labels are water,
grease, weather, and scuff resistant. The label appears as part of the container
and has great shelf appeal. They are used for labeling health and personal care
products, toys, motor oil, beverages, chemicals and cleaning products.
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