When a part comes out of the mould, IML allows product manufacturers to have a variety of colours, graphic effects, and/or textures.

In-Mould Labeling, often known as IML, is a process in which a pre-printed label is placed within a mould just prior to moulding. This allows for the production of fully printed parts at the end of the moulding procedure without the need for an additional challenging and costly printing stage. Complex pieces and some plastics might be particularly challenging for printing. When designing printed parts, it is frequently necessary to give up some design elements in order to create flat areas that will make a subsequent printing operation easier. With flat labels, it is possible to produce some of the highest quality printed images on plastic because printing is most efficient when the subject surface is flat.

Labels can be made from a variety of materials, including paper and plastics that are made to match the plastic that is being moulded. Their thickness ranges from a few hundred microns to several millimeters. Although IML technologies are primarily used in injection moulding, they also have significant applications in the thermoforming and blow moulding processes.

Before the mould closes for the subsequent cycle in injection moulding, the label is inserted into the cavity of the mould just after the object is ejected (Fig. 4.59). Because of its simple folding construction, the label may precisely mimic the internal surface of the hollow. Sometimes, vacuum holes or electrostatic charge are utilised to help position the label. The IML technique is frequently used in technical products where the surface of a plastic part needs to be labelled or decorated, despite being most frequently associated with food packaging. In-Mould Decoration may be the name given to the technique in these applications.