Until recently, two market segments applied IML: injection moulding (IML-I) and blow moulding (IML-B). With the introduction of a specially designed IML label, we can add a third segment: IML-T, i.e. In-Mould Labelling for thermoformed packaging.
In close cooperation with a film supplier we have developed a film that meets the specific requirements of the thermoforming process, i.e. mostly the low temperature and the pressure at which the label has to melt together with the packaging without the occurrence of bubbles or a defective seam. Furthermore, the product has to end up with a look that is similar to the quality obtained with IML-I or IML-B, and that is precisely what our IML-T labels offer!
At the moment we can deliver IML-T labels with an orange peel effect, which is only compatible with PP packaging. Opinions regarding the economic viability of IML-T are divided. IML-T is not a new application, yet it has only a few applications worldwide. Is there still a future for IML-T? Can IML-T compete against IML-I? It became clear at the K-Fair last year that various machine manufacturers had put considerable efforts into offering simpler and cheaper IML-T machines.
Until recently, a label that worked well at an affordable price was still a bottleneck, but this has now also been solved with our specific IML-T labels. The Unique Selling Point that we see is that thermoformers of the world are now in a position to offer packaging with oxygen barriers that include a high-quality IML decoration! This powerful combination is the added value par excellence that can make the difference in relation to other packaging solutions.