As a basis for the IML-label traditional materials are used. This polymer film with a thickness 50 – 100 microns – polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS) or polyester (PET). For environmental reasons, vinyl (PVC) are used less and less but became very popular oriented polypropylene (OPP) and biaxial polypropylene (BOPP). Ppaer can be used o create an IML-labels but it is used relatively rarely. Film for molding IML container can be white, transparent and colored.
IML-labeling is used in combination with several technologies create plastic packaging: blow into a mold (blow-mould), vacuum forming (vacuum forming), injection molding (injection mold) as well as hot stamping (thermoform).
After molding IML-label is formed integrally with the material PP from which the IM packaging is made of. Briefly, the main advantages of IML-labels can be described in the following list:
- reducing the cost of labeling as this operation is combined with the process of packaging production;
- you can use the higher (10-20% vs. customarily used) speed packaging of the product, since the label has a strong bond with the surface which reduces the risk of injury;
- facilitated in-plant records of finished packaging (if all containers are labeled and signed, to mix them a lot harder than “anonymous” capacity);
- packaging has less weight, besides saving in the production of about 10-15% polymeric materials due to the fact that part of the space allocated to the product within the mold, it takes the label;
- 15-20% increase in the strength of the side walls because the label becomes a kind of valve, which helps to cope with the pressures on the packaging;
- for the production of labels you can use high-quality printing and thus the packaging of your products will get sharp graphics and photorealistic image;
- automatically takes additional protection against counterfeiting as IML- own technology usually large enough manufacturers who will not participate in the production of a pirate;
- label and packaging look like a single unit which enhances the visual appeal of the goods;
- labels have an increased resistance to external mechanical, thermal, chemical attack;
- packaging can be recycled as a whole (the label and packaging are made from one material- polypropylene);
- packing made of polypropylene PP is absolutely safe for the storage of dairy products (as the lactic acid reacts with the polymer and absorbs a lead salt, etc. contained in the dye).
The popularity of “in-mold” label is huge. In the food industry IML-labels were in demand as widely recognized products such as ice cream, soft butter, margarine sandwich and processed cheeses and cheeses in brine. For their packaging proved convenient to use plastic containers which are easy to label by IML-technology.
Barrier film may be used on the sides, the bottom and the lid of the container.
You can create IML container with a light barrier. Photocell allows you to pack the products in a container IML which need to be stored in a dark place. Now hit the light on the package will not affect the safety of the product.
IML can be an oxygen barrier which helps to increase the shelf life of products up to 3 years.