From Tech Update Summer 2021
Skip secondary processes while achieving a long-lasting decoration?
In-Mould Labelling or In-Mould Design is a technique we use for decorative products without the need for a second post-process. The desired graphic is printed on a foil which is placed into the production cell of the injection moulding step. The feeding automation inserts it into the mould and the plastic material is injected onto it. Like this both materials melt together and create a strong and longlasting bond which can be even more improved and hardened by curing the products. In order to achieve a more in-depth effect or to protect the graphic foil, transparent material can be moulded on the outer/top side and thus protect the fragile designs.
How does it look like in real life and the production process?
As example we take the decorative cover of a handheld device used by Diabetes patients to measure their blood glucose levels.
After a development phase together with the customer and our suppliers we have started up our fully automatic production line in our factory in Pune / India at the beginning of 2020.
There are different ways of inserting the decorative foil into the mould, typically by a robot or continuously on a film roll – the technology we selected for our production and where a sensor is controlling the feeding and perfect positioning. To achieve best speed and accuracy in movements we installed two 125 ton fully electric moulding machine and added a robot which carefully takes the products out of the mould and places them on a conveyor belt. After going through an integrated UV curing system the parts are inspected and carefully placed into their transport blisters.
A yearly production of 3 million products of these resistant and highly appealing Polycarbonate parts makes our team proud and underlines the competence of our Indian facility to supply not only the highest quality for reinforced automotive components but also for medical customers.