Injection in-mold labeling (IML) has been used for many years and was initially employed above all for the labeling of margarine, ice cream and cheese packaging. Other manufacturers now also use this still modern method and the range of IML packaging has grown much larger: yoghurts, spreads and salads, as well as household cleaners, paints, etc. are increasingly offered with IML labels.
With IML the label is already attached to the container during production. Unlike self-adhesive labels, the label fuses with the plastic container during IML and thus becomes a fixed part of the container.
YUPO® IML was a huge success during the World Cup 2014 in Brazil: beers were served in all the World Cup Stadiums in YUPO® IML cups. The high and durable quality of the IML cups guarantees a brilliant product with a high reminder value, even after decades.
In principle, any molded PP container can be decorated using the in-mold method. The label is positioned in an open, empty mold and held in place by a static charge. The mold is then closed and molten synthetic resin is injected. The plastic of the label and the plastic of the newly created container fuse with one another – in a single step.
The special characteristics of YUPO® IML
YUPO® IML consists of three layers, but only one of these fuses with the plastic of the container. This guarantees that the label and the design on the outer layer are excellently and clearly depicted. In principle, any molded HDPE plastic container can be decorated using the in-mold method. The label is placed in an open, empty mold and held in place by vacuum. A molten plastic tube (plastic parison) is extruded and the molds close holding this tube. This is blown into the mold (“blow molding”) and the plastic of the label and the plastic of the newly created bottle fuse with one another – in a single step.
With the IML method and YUPO® IML many costs can be reduced: The labeling of bottles after production is completely eliminated. This spares not only the time for subsequent labeling, but also all the related costs: Transport and storage of blank packaging and unlabeled bottles as well as special glue for extreme temperatures in particularly hot or cold countries are no longer needed at all. Expensive energy costs, high labor costs and additional material can also be saved with IML.
The overall costs for a labeled bottle are clearly lower with IML compared to other labeling methods. At the same time, the bottles can be filled more quickly if they no longer have to be labeled simultaneously.
Time savings of up to 10 percent – depending on the filling method – are possible, thus saving additional 10% money.
|LABELING MACHINE (SELF-ADHESIVE LABELS)|
|FLAME TREATMENT (HEAT TRANSFER)|
|PRINTING MACHINE (DIRECT PRINTING)|
|SHRINK TUNNEL (SHRINK SLEEVE)|
Weight & Stability
Another advantage is the low weight with a simultaneous increase of the stability of the packaging. The label becomes a part of the packaging so that the material needed for the packaging is reduced. With IML, up to 5% of the weight can be saved.
An IML label with YUPO® IML also strengthens the packaging itself. The anti-compression strength can increase by up to 20%. This means: The packaging is more stable and better protected from damage, such as crushing and cracking, than an unlabeled bottle. As a result, the product is even better protected from external factors, and the packaging always retains its shape.
A further important point: When filling the packaging with warm engine oil or ketchup, conventional, self-adhesive labels often cause problems. The labels can separate and form blisters. IML packaging does not have these kinds of problems, as once fused, the label will not come off the surface again – even in the case of high temperature fluctuations.
Your benefits with YUPO® IML
- Minimise costs
- Save time
- Optimum printing quality
- Stronger, lighter packaging
- Water-resistant, scratch-proof and temperature-resistant labels
YUPO® has carried out precise research into the IML process and has developed a synthetic paper made of polypropylene that combines the advantages of paper with those of films. The result is YUPO® IML, a new type of material that is easy to print on while at the same time being stronger than paper, cratch-proof and water-repellent.
The market for injection IML is also continuously growing in Europe and has increased enormously in recent years.
The needs of the customers vary strongly, however, and high flexibility and individual solutions are demanded. YUPO® therefore specialises in very special IML requirements and specific niche products.
YUPO IML PRODUCTS
YUPO® IML PEEL-OFF
With peel-off labels, both the front and rear sides of the label are printed. Initially they are bound to the container, but can be manually removed by the consumer. This method is useful for prize competitions or prize codes that are hidden under the label. Beyond that, there is a possibility to place recipes or other product information here for the consumer. Even small forks, knives or spoons can be placed behind the peeloff YUPO® IML labels. YUPO® offers two different products for this application with various adhesive forces.
YUPO IML PRODUCTS
YUPO® IML HOLOGRAPHIC
YUPO® IML COMPATIBLE
With YUPO® IML even holographic and metallised labels are possible. They are not only a visual highlight that set the product apart from the competition, they are also particularly difficult to imitate. YUPO® IML Holographic was developed in Europe and is now produced in over 100 different variations. The three most popular motifs are available at all times.
All YUPO® products can also be refined with cold foil or hot foil embossing. Most IML containers are manufactured from polypropylene (PP). However, very flexible lids can also be manufactured from polyethylene (PE) or LLDPE (linear low-density polyethylene), because YUPO® IML fuses perfectly with PE and LLDPE as well.
YUPO IML PRODUCTS
YUPO® IML DURABLE
The days when IML was only used just for food packaging and consumer products such as cleaning agents are long gone. More and more IML Durable Products are now conquering the IML market; such as, household and office articles, toys and shopping baskets. Even car parts can be manufactured and decorated with IML in order to produce durable and economical car parts.
YUPO® offers various IML products for this segment and helps its customers with individual solutions and Know-how. Inexpensive and long lasting decorations are possible with YUPO® IML.
YUPO IML PRODUCTS
YUPO® IML OXYGEN
YUPO® IML is ideal in particular for customers who have little experience with in-mold labeling. It is simple to print on and the corresponding IML paper and a suitable solution are available for each individual product.
YUPO® IML is equally ideal for high-quality, 5-sided, shiny containers. Unlike many competitors, YUPO® IML is colourfast, scratch-proof and durable here, too. YUPO® IML also leads where food packaging is concerned: with an IML oxygen barrier, foodstuffs such as cheese or yoghurt have a longer shelf life and can thus remain longer on the supermarket shelves. With a YUPO® IML lid with oxygen barrier, the oxygen entry is reduced from 900 cm3/m2/24 hrs to less than 1 cm3/m2/24 hrs.
YUPO® IML products
|Opacity (Label type)||White||White||White||White||White||Holographic||White
|PP smooth surface – no Orange-Peel-Effect|
|PE and LLDPE|
|Removable – Peel off|
|Direct food contact|
YUPO IML ENVIRONMENT
Sustainability and environmental protection are of great concern to YUPO®. That is why YUPO® synthetic paper is 100% wood-free and thus preserves forests, water and other natural resources. The manufacture of YUPO® synthetic paper is environmentally friendly, because comparatively less water, less energy and fewer chemicals are used in its production. The YUPO® Corporation’s comprehensive environmental management system is therefore certified according to ISO 14001.
YUPO® synthetic paper is free from all toxic materials and heavy metals and contains no softeners. As a result it can be used even with toys and foods. YUPO® synthetic papers meet the highest hygiene and food standards for th various areas of use.
One of the biggest advantages of YUPO® IML products is their recyclability. Label, container and cap are made of compatible plastic and can thus be recycled together. The label does not have to be removed before recycling. Proper disposal does not generate sulphur, chlorine, nitrogen or dioxin. That means sustainability for generations.
By contrast to that, large quantities of waste are created by self-adhesive labels. At least 60 per cent of the product is used just as a release liner, which must be disposed of afterwards. That is complex and above all expensive. Without this waste disposal several tens of thousands of euros could be saved. These additional complexities and expenses can be completely erased with the use of YUPO® IML, making it a logical stop towards sustainable and durable packaging.