Bulls Eye Packaging In Mold Labeling


In mold labeling places the label into the container as the container is being molded. In-mold labeling is a pre-decorating technique used for blow molded bottles as well as injection molded and thermoformed containers or other plastic objects. Pre-decoration is the application of a label to a container before it is filled with product. In-mold labeling has become a very popular method of enhancing products and has replaced pressure sensitive labels.

What differentiates in-mold labels for blow molding applications from conventional glue-on labels is the heat seal coating that is applied to the back side of the in-mold label stock during the converting process. Labels for injection molded IML do not require an adhesive on the back side. The IML process eliminates the labeling step and all associated equipment and labor.

In the in-mold labeling process, a label or appliqué is placed in the open mold and held in the desired position by vacuum ports, electrostatic attraction or other appropriate means. The mold closes and molten plastic resin is extruded or injected into the mold where it conforms to the shape of the object. The hot plastic envelopes the label, making it an integral part of the molded object. The difference between glue applied labels and in-mold labels is that a glue applied label is "on" the surface of the plastic object; the in-mold label is "in" the wall of the object.

In-mold labeled containers offer these advantages:

    1. Lower costs than other pre-decorating methods.
    2. No extra labeling step or equipment.
    3. In-case product filling and capping.
    4. Increased packaging line speeds.
    5. Improved appearance.
    6. Better stain resistance.
    7. Can be applied to refrigerated or frozen foods.