Current situation and development analysis of the

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Analysis on the current situation and development of in mold label technology

there are a variety of plastic products processed by the traditional decorative injection molding methods, such as pressure-sensitive adhesive labels and contractile outer package labels; Primer printing products and offset printing products; Heat transfer color foil; Decal printing film and so on, all belong to this category of products. All these products need secondary processing to be made, but their production process recently has to face the challenge from one-step production process, that is, "in mold labeling technology". The so-called in mold label technology (IML) can make all kinds of products processed by plastic product manufacturers look like "no label", and the quality of the printed label pattern is beyond the reach of some post color decoration processes. For example, image photos, undulating patterns, and even three-dimensional holographic patterns can be used as an integral part of the product, and their quality effect is better than those products with labels on the outer surface. The plastic products processed and produced by the in mold label process have more decorative effect in structure, and can reduce the mass of the packaged products by 10% - 15%, while increasing the strength of the side wall of the products

there are various design styles of in mold label products. From flat covers of various shapes to 360 ° surround labels, products with 3, 4, 5, or even 8 sides can be designed, and products with arc corners, rectangles, circles, squares, or corrugated side graphics can also be made. This is a unique technology. Its "label" is made by simply surrounding a printed cardboard card with a molded plastic pad to make a complete flange

the European market was the first to adopt

European plastic products processing plants, mold manufacturers and automation equipment manufacturers are the most powerful supporters of in mold label technology. They have accumulated at least 20 years of valuable professional experience in this technical field

at least 85% - 95% of food packaging in today's European market is processed by using the label technology made of unreinforced PBT ultradur B 4520 on the upper shell of the top pillar module with the contact under the installation of the steering wheel in the mold. At the same time, this technology is also applied to some durable goods, such as beer cartons with reuse value

in North America, in mold labeling technology has been used to process some durable goods in a limited range for a long time, such as toys. Recently, for the first time, the development momentum of injection processing packaging products using in mold label technology has emerged (the packaging processing industry in this region has been dominated by the blow molding bottle production process). The proportion of food packaging products processed by in mold labeling technology in this region accounts for less than 5% of all food packaging products, but it has shown a strong momentum of development. The development of in mold label technology mainly focuses on food packaging products such as ice cream cups, drinking cups for sports stands, popcorn barrels, butter containers, salad oil bottle caps, as well as personal care products used in non food packaging, such as baby refreshing water bottles, as well as cleaning products used in gardening gardens, laundry rooms and homes. It is reported that enterprises interested in participating in commercial and experimental promotion programs include P & G, general food, Nestle, Folgers, Kimberly Clark, kirkland/costco, Kroger, the National Football Federation, and NASCAR

several American plastic products processing manufacturers claim that they have the professional processing ability of in mold label technology. At present, 13 factories in the United States have applied in mold label processing technology, and the precision technology company in New Jersey is using a three-sided labeling production equipment to process packaging bottles for pampers brand baby refreshing water

plastic enterprises in Missouri uses a set of laminated molds with deep cavity to put paper labels into the mold to process a two-component ice cream cup cover. This patented system equipment can process hundreds of different label inserts and 10 ~ 12 resin colorants of different colors. Greg Peters, vice president of the marketing department of plastic enterprises, said that the sales performance of the company's in mold label products in 2004 was "insignificant", but the company has installed 1-2 new in mold label forming equipment in 2005, which has increased the company's operating income by 10%

North American IML container manufacturing company in Quebec, Canada, is producing several packaging products with in mold labels, including a barrel cover and container for land O'Lakes brand butter. This production plan has been commercialized and promoted for 2 years. It is in 2 sets × 6, one set of which is used to process the container barrel and the other set of which is used to process the barrel cover

technimark company in North Carolina is manufacturing a drinking cup for the National Football Federation for the stadium grandstand, which is a drinking cup with 3D (concave convex transparent) film inserts. Several other small-scale or patented in mold label development projects are being planned and developed by the following companies, or have entered the stage of commercialization and promotion, including berry plastic products company in Ohio; Nypro, Massachusetts; IPL company in Quebec, Canada

in the production of durable goods, mega Bloks International Co., Ltd. in Montreal, Canada processed and produced toys decorated with in mold labels, and its business volume is expanding. German jokey Plastik wiperfurth Co., Ltd. is a leading professional manufacturer in the field of processing in mold label barrel containers. The company opened a technology center in Toronto in early 2005 to introduce and promote in mold label technology products in the North American market

the primary reason why the application of in mold label technology in North America lags behind Europe is the market capacity of packaging products. In Europe, in mold label products are mainly processed on molds with a small number of cavities, and the number of products produced each year reaches millions of sets/pieces

large food packaging products processing enterprises in the United States will not use the mold system with a small number of cavities for processing and production, and their customers do not intend to test the market recognition of in mold label products through investment and development of multi cavity molds and equipment. On the contrary, plastic products processing plants suspect that in mold label products do not have long-term market recognition

there are many objections in the market against the multi-mode cavity in mold label system to produce thin-walled packaging, accusing that this process technology is not yet mature. The multi-mode cavity in mold label production system, which appeared only a few years ago, does not meet the ideal conditions in terms of automation control, accuracy, repeatability, stability and reliability of tools and accessories, All these factors are the key factors that constitute the vitality of this process technology. In the past few years, American plastic products manufacturers have tried to support the market development. The market team is an entrepreneurial "accelerator" to try to use the in mold label technology, but it ended in failure for many times. This is due to the poor quality of the processed labels and the Limited automation equipment system

the price of a set of in mold label production equipment may be 15% or more higher than that of traditional molding equipment. Even if a set of in mold label packaging production unit with two or four mold cavities is worth 120000 ~ 155000 US dollars, its processing and production speed is very fast. The processing cycle of the four mold cavity system equipment is about 5.2 ~ 5.4 seconds, and it can be set faster

with the growing maturity of the in mold label packaging product market in North America, this technology will have a broader space for development. European equipment suppliers are developing multi-mode cavity processing equipment systems for the North American market, including complex laminated systems. At the same time, North American automation equipment manufacturers and mold manufacturers also pay more attention to the field of in mold label technology

major manufacturers

automated assemblies and Idesign, American automation equipment manufacturers with experience in in in mold label processing technology, plus a large number of European original equipment manufacturers, including Beck automation equipment manufacturing company, g-mat Co., Ltd., hekuma company, ilsemann company, SAS company, Wittmann company, machinespages company (a strategic partner of stackteck company) The Swiss company ller fabrique de MOULES and the German company Klaus Murphy have recently purchased and assembled neureder manipulator devices. Among them, stackteck and machinespages announced that they have sold more than 300 processing systems in this technology field, hekuma claimed to have sold 270, Beck automation equipment manufacturing company and ilsemann company also claimed to have installed hundreds of equipment respectively. Most of them are located in Europe, and only a few are installed and put into operation in factories in the United States and Asia

mold manufacturers that process and manufacture supporting tools for multi-mode cavity equipment systems include: axxicon, fob3, OHA, fostag, glaroform, ottohofstetter, manner, schottli, stackteck, etc. in the process of experiment, they pointed out many factors that must be considered in tool design: how to fix the label on the tool when the label is transferred to the mold; And the label is placed on the core, at the edge of the cavity, or at the gate

the injection pressure of the in mold label process must be controlled within a reasonable parameter range. When applied to the processing of thin-walled parts, it must meet the required high-speed injection and high pressure process conditions, and there must be no part defects, and the thin label cannot be displaced in the mold. In addition, accurate clamping and positioning is also crucial for the repeatability of embedding labels with the help of robots. The accuracy of transferring the label into the tool by the manipulator is about 0.4mm

advanced tools

so far, the largest mold in the field of in mold label technology has 32 mold cavities, including a set of 2 × 16 laminated mold and a set of 32 cavity single-sided mold. This is only used for processing flat surface cover products, and the depth of the mold cavity of the processing container has reached 2 × 8。

at an exhibition in 2004, Milacron company showed a set of two position rotating stacking system, named "twin Cube", which is a cube system; It is manufactured by foboha company and installed on the K-TEK machine produced by Milacron company. It is equipped with two sets of 4-sided transposable central stacking system, and 16 mold cavities are set on the surface of each mold. The whole process of pasting trademarks in the mold and processing shallow two-component parts was demonstrated to the visitors on the booth. This system adds a new type of rotary adhesive joint to the label device in the mold. This is because the label used is of self-adhesive type. After molding, the robot automatically sticks the label to the workpiece, rather than placing the label in the mold before injection. When the clamping parts on the mold surface are moved to the side, the four sides are designed in cubic configuration, which is conducive to the convenient labeling

in mold label technology has a great impact on the gate shape and exhaust port design of the mold. This tool also specifically requires to limit the movement of equipment parameters of the label small spring fatigue testing machine

for standard flat labels, the front side of the label should be close to the cooling surface of the mold cavity, and the mold gate should be designed to face the core, or not set at

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