In-mould labelling is the use of plastic labels during the manufacturing of containers by blow moulding (BML), injection moulding (IML), or thermoforming processes. The label serves as the integral part of the final product, which is delivered as pre-decorated item to the packaging filling line. In-mould labels are applied at high temperature with longer cycle times which comes with its challenges. Mainly BoPP films are being used which are printed, varnished and converted into a single label. These stacks are then used during the moulding process. The fact that the label is moulded inside the container provides a no label look, ensures brand integrity on a higher level and reduces complexity in the packaging line (no decoration process).
Here you can see an in-mould large format label sample printed on a Xeikon 3500 digital press.
- Substrate: Treofan EUH70
- Toner: ICE toner CMYK + Clear, Primer Michelman Digiprime 4453, Varnish Actega Aquaprint 150
- Finishing: Xeikon UCoat,
- The Xeikon 3500 has been the press of choice since its 516 mm (20.3") web width allows for productive solution. The full rotary printing architecture enables any length of labels without productivity loss.
What is the value of digital printing?
In-mould labelling is a decoration technique with relatively high start-up costs and used early in the supply chain. Digital printing allows customer sampling for test marketing, resulting in higher success rates when the products hit the consumer market. In addition, digital production offers a lower cost solution for the large sized labels which have higher start-up printing cost.
Furthermore digital printing with Xeikon offers:
- undistinguishable quality from your flexo production and as such provide a complement to flexo or
- provides cross-over with offset of at least 2,100 line meter (6,889 linear ft) or >70,000 labels
- no startup costs
- no job changeover costs on the same print media
- ability to print unlimited number versions in one go
Which is the preferred digital production solution?
Below you can see an example of a full production set-up for in-mould food container labels: roll-to-roll line including a water based priming unit, a Xeikon 3500 digital press and a miniUCoat which comprises of a varnishing station and rewinder. It is our complete digital printing solution, which comes with all the necessary components for seamless digital label printing.