LABEL TESTING & VALIDATION

 

It is imperative that the label & shape is considered at the very beginning of the IML project. Understanding whether the label has been successfully used in other IML applications or has been successfully molded in relation to the proposed shape is also a major consideration.

If the label and or shape is unique than the project will need to allocate

resources for R&D. Comprehensive testing will be required to establish

that the label will successfully bond to the cavity shape. The alternative

of not proceeding down an R&D path for a unique label or shape could

be a label that is not suited to the application or shape in question

resulting in considerable project downtime and additional cost.

At Static Electricity Control (SEC) we can assist by providing a certificate

of conformity for the label you plan to use as part of your overall IML project. 

We can test your project label and its ability to adhere and bond successfully

to a number of shapes.

 

Some labels for instance are more than capable of adhering to a flat shape such as a lid but are unable to successfully bond to a rectangular shape with a tight radius. Understanding the limitations of your project label is critical to the success of your IML project. 

Tips for In-Mold Label Storage and Packaging

These recommendations are excerpted from the IN-MOLD LABEL TECHNICAL MANUAL & TEST METHODS report by AWA Alexander Watson Associates.

Incorrect packaging, storage and storage conditions all have an adverse effect on the processing of in-mold labels in subsequent processes. For example, research1 has shown that the static receptivity will be negatively affected when stored in high-humidity conditions irrespective of film type, packaging design, charging method or topcoat chemistry. A study from AWA (Alexander Watson Associates) recommends the following:

  1. A typical method of packaging labels is in banded bundles face down in suitably sized and manageable cardboard boxes. A comparison of packaging methods showed no direct benefit in packaging in-mold labels in shrink-wrapped bundles in boxes or as bagged bundles in boxes.

  2. Rolls of label materials should be stored on end (vertical storage).

  3. The ideal storage conditions for in-mold labels are often quoted as RH 50%±5%, 21°C±2°C. Storage temperatures and relative humidity outside these limits will have an adverse effect on label performance. Researches have shown that static receptivity is especially affected by high humidity – cavitated films appear more affected by storage in high humidity conditions than solid films.

  4. Materials should not be stored near sources of heat and ignition, or in direct sunlight.

  5. Do not unwrap pallets or boxes until required.

  6. Long-term storage should be undertaken in environmentally controlled storage conditions.

  7. Storage conditions should be clean, dry and moisture-free.

  8. Standard stock rotation practices should be followed – first in/first out (FIFO) – and attention should be paid to any supplier recommendations on storage, shelf life and use.

  9. Labels should be removed from packaging and left to condition under the ambient room conditions in areas of use for at least 24 hours before processing.

Materials stored and used under these conditions should retain a specified performance for up to six months. However, these recommendations are guidelines, and label performance after storage also will be a function of label materials and constructions.

Reference:
1 Inkworks Printing/Inland Label Presentation, AWA IMLCON 11, Phoenix 2011

AWA Alexander Watson Associates BV is a leading international market research and marketing advisory services provider singularly focused on the specialty packaging, coating, converting and labeling industries. To request the full report, visit www.awa-bv.com.

IN MOLD LABELLING & DECORATION

 

Designing a new product or upgrading an existing product from direct print, glue-on, pressure sensitive or heat transfer labeling to IML or IMD can be a difficult decision.

 

How hard will it be to produce in-mold labeled or decorated products? How expensive will it be to implement and operate? How will our decision affect operational efficiency and profits?

In-mold labeling and decorating requires a significant investment of both time and financial resources but it does pay off in enhanced products, increased market share and cost savings.

 

Whether you are making packaging or durable products, here a some things to consider as you enter into the world of in-mold labeling and decorating:

  • IML Project Specialist or Project Lead to oversee the entire project

  • Label Considerations - What type? Does the label already exist?

    • Has the label been successfully tested? Is it an R & D Label?

  • Shape Considerations - What type? Does the shape already exist?

    • Has the shape been successfully tested? Is it an R & D shape?

  • Label Positioning - Flat Lid, Wrap, Full Wrap etc.

  • Injection Mold Requirements

  • Blow Mold Requirements

  • Degree of Difficulty for IML-I Containers

  • Automation Requirements

  • Injection IML (IML-I) Machine Requirements

  • Blow mold IML (IML-B) Machine Requirements

 

Important: IF YOU ARE UNSURE OF HOW TO BEGIN YOUR IML PROJECT then either call us directly so that we may assist you with an initial assessment or contact an IML Project Specialist.

We strongly recommend that you do not proceed with an IML project without first organising a project pre-specification or validation meeting

 

"When starting up an IML project it is important to not only inform the label suppliers about the final objective of the project, but also the other partners that are involved, such as the process, machine, mold and automation partners.Exchanging the production parameters between all partners helps you to make each IML project a success!" - VIML

UPDATE ON FOOD SAFETY STANDARDS

 

According to Australian & New Zealand Food Standards Code 3.2.2 it is critical

that all food businesses use all practicable measures to ensure that food packaging is

not contaminated.

The use of conductive foam which can break off during the in mold process and lodge

within the food packaging is a potential source of food contamination.

 

SEC suggest the use of pinning systems as opposed to conductive foam for any food

grade IML process.

DO NOT USE CONDUCTIVE FOAM IN FOOD GRADE IML PROCESSES