In-mold labelling is a molding technique used to produce pre-printed plastic parts or containers. Multiple Labeling Service providers in India and abroad incorporate this technique to produce pre-printed thermoplastics. In simple words, this technique helps to attach pre-printed colorful labels that decorate plastic vessels, parts, containers, etc. The credit for using In-mold labelling for the first time goes to Owens- Illinois, who collaborated with Procter & Gamble (P&G) to produce pre-printed shampoo bottles. The printed labels produced by this technique are high-quality, cost-effective, and durable. Market statistics suggest that maximum manufacturers vouch for this technique due to its commercial and technical advantages. The market of in-mold label printing in India is witnessing rapid growth due to its high volume of applications in everyday life.

The process

During this process, the prime step is to insert a pre-printed label into the mold cavity immediately before it closes. It leads to the fusion of the pre-printed label with the thermoplastic material and the production of water-proof and abrasion-resistant printed container. For the seamless infusion of the label and the material, the former is enabled with flexibility so that it can easily fold and take the form of the interior surface of the mold cavity. This process seamlessly integrates the process of production and labelling, which saves costs and eases the process.

The advantages

Various advantageous factors contribute to the rapid growth and demand for this technique. It is favorable over the traditional post-molding process as it prevents high equipment expenditures and time and produces long-lasting graphics.

  1. Excellent Print Quality

In-mold labelling generates high-quality prints that are water-proof, scratch-resistant, and high resolution. After the execution of this process, the IML label appears as a natural part of the product. This quality prevents discomfort that generates as a result of glue residues, bubbles, label wrinkles, etc.

  1. Versatility

One of the Unique selling points of this technique is its ability to produce diversified labels. Manufacturers can incorporate a wide variety ranging from flat and curved to 3D labels in their designs. In addition, these labels adapt to various sizes and shapes; For example, glasses, control panels, bins, containers, etc.

  1. Cost-effectivity

The entire process of in-mold labelling involves only a single step. Hence, no additional labor, types of equipment, transportation, and labor costs are involved. All these factors collectively contribute to lower production costs. Moreover, the production of labels and containers simultaneously enhances production efficiency.

  1. Recyclability

If the material used for creating the containers is recyclable, the pre-printed labels, too, will be recyclable. The reason is that the pre-printed labels and the containers are created with the same material. Thus, Manufacturers have the feasibility to produce environment-friendly and recyclable labels.

  1. Durability

The labels get ingrained with the vessels, which makes them resistant to external wear and tear. Their temperature stability and resistance to the humid environment make them ideal for refrigeration containers. Moreover, these labels are also suitable for technical processes like industrial washing involving high temperatures.

  1. Customer-satisfaction

The design and colors of plastic products play a crucial role in catching the eye of customers. Even if the customers are unaware of the product’s quality, they judge it by its face value. Attractive labels increase the feel-good quality of any product, which makes customers curious about the product and entice them to buy it.

  1. No duplication

This technique can immensely help brands prevent the production of counterfeit products. The unique and differentiated mold designs and the complex film printing process make it difficult to copy the label design. Thus, brands can save their company and the products from fraud and loss of sales.

  1. Health and hygiene

The method of in-mold labelling is safe and hygienic. It does not promote the development of harmful microbes, thus making it safe to store eateries and other consumable products.

The Uses

Various industries use the in-mold labelling method to produce high-quality and aesthetic labels cost-effectively.

  • Food and beverages
  • Telecommunication
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Cosmetics
  • Paints
  • Oil and grease
  • Electronics
  • Housing and architecture, etc.

The Takeaway

Time and again, this technique has successfully proved its effectiveness and usability. Due to this technique, manufacturers get multiple advantages which give them an upper hand in terms of cost, labor, and time. In the years to come, the popularity and demand of in-mold labeling injection molding in India and abroad are bound to multiply with time.