The 5 W's (+ 1 H) of IML:What is IML:
IML (short for In-Mould Labelling) is the process of inserting a pre-printed label into a mould which is then filled with polymer and moulded into the final product (container/lid etc). It is a pre-decorating technique whereby when the mould is filled with molten resin the label fuses together with the material during the moulding process creating the final product complete with label - all in the one step.
When did it all begin:
IML was first developed in Germany in the early 80's, with Australia and New Zealand some of the earliest adopters of this technology. Over the past few years we have seen IML packaging greatly increasing in popularity as product appearance becomes ever critical and also as companies look for ways to remove excess steps in the production process.
Where is IML:
IML is all around and can be seen more and more in all plastic packaging products from small containers, cups & lids right up to large 20L buckets. IML can be used on almost any shape or size of product with multiple options for label formats (round wrap, 1 sided, multiple sided, duel label etc).
Why use IML (Benefits):
IML products have many benefits that have resulted in the rapid growth in this area. Some of the key benefits are:
- IML products are fully recyclable (environmental benefits)
- IML saves secondary processes such as applying labels which results in faster cycle times, reduced costs of energy, manpower and factory floor space.
- IML provides greater design & flexibility as graphic quality is far greater than traditional labelling techniques
- IML labels provide far better performance including high abrasion resistance, temperature resistance and water proofness/leak proofness (great for chilled/frozen products). They also cannot crack and are not susceptible to wrinkles.
- IML labels provide side wall strength to the container and can add barrier properties to food containers if required
- IML can provide approx. 15% savings on resin as less resin is needed due to labels taking up space in the mould
How do TCL fit in to IML:
We are proud suppliers of IML robotic equipment to the Australian market. We have years of expertise and look forward to helping our customers achieve their packaging goals using our IML equipment.
Who does TCL represent:
TCL Hofmann represent the Taiwanese company We-Technology who have been supplying robotics and IML equipment for over 30 years. Their Taiwanese built machines come with superior quality, reliability and repeatability ensuring you get the maximum performance from your investment.