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IN-MOLD LABELING (IML) – HOW IT WORKS

Unlike traditional pressure sensitive labels that are applied to the outside of product containers and packaging after they’ve been produced, in-mold labeling takes place during the manufacturing process itself. Let’s take a deeper dive into how in-mold labeling (IML) works, as well as some of the key benefits associated with it.

For in-mold labeling (IML), the label is applied inside the mold for the plastic container before it is formed. In-mold labels are printed on film, die cut, then sheeted into stacks. The stacks are placed in a magazine at the molding line and inserted into the mold prior to either injection molding or blow molding the container.

This type of labeling process usually requires longer runs as the dies themselves have to be tooled to accommodate these labels.

At Lake Graphics Label and Sign Co. Inc., we specialize in digital printing, so we can produce economical quantities of labels for IML.

We consult with our customers every step of the way – taking a personalized approach to ensure that every label conforms to their production and end-use specifications. Take a look at some of the many types of products that can, or currently do, use our in-mold labels:

  • Food and beverage containers
  • Hair care and makeup containers
  • Home cleaning product containers
  • Washer and dryer control panels
  • Dishwasher panels or trim
  • Car and truck components
  • Lawn care equipment
  • Lawn and garden product containers

The in-mold labeling process mechanically bonds each label to plastic parts and containers, creating a permanent label that cannot be removed. Advantages of in-mold labeling includes:

Enhanced Formability and Durability

Pressure sensitive labels require a certain amount of space to apply onto a surface without risking wrinkles or bubbles, while IML labels are actually part of the container. This allows for greater flexibility in label design. While pressure sensitive labels are great for smooth, flat surfaces, in-mold labels can conform to any shape. They can seamlessly cover, even completely wrap around, the entire surface of any mold without buckling or folding. They’re also highly durable and can stand up to harsh conditions.

Environmentally Friendly

When a plastic product or container is recycled at the end its life-cycle, its in-mold labels do not have to be removed. They’ll simply be melted with the rest of the product before the plastic is reused to create other items that can benefit society and enhance our lives – perhaps another container that will require in-mold labels.

Now that you know how in-mold labeling (IML) works, let us help you design a solution that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations! During our consultations, we’ll look at all of your operational, mold and label requirements, then recommend the ideal solution for your application. Give us a call today at (216) 898-9977 or send us an inquiry.

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