What is IML

About the name

IML is the short name of In-Mold Labeling, It is the technology to apply the printed and pre-formed film onto 3D geometry plastic surface where film and plastic adhere during injection molding.

This technology is especially suitable for decorating deep and complex shapes. Furthermore, because of the surface IML film layer, a high-quality exterior with a sense of depth and robust physical properties are available.

The decoration layer would never be fade and peel off during the whole product cycle life.

Key Benefits

Deep 3D Geometry Available

Dedicated forming process prior to injection molding forms IML film deep draw and complicated geometry.

layer-protection

Physical Film Protection

Graphic layer is fully protected from abrasion by IML film. Additional functionalities like UV or chemical resistance is available by special films.

enviromental-friendly

ECO Friendly

Thin IML ink is only applied to the area where decoration is needed. Volatile organic compounds can be reduced. The user won’t touch the ink layer and no water and air pollution during production

production-volume

Flexialbe Customization

A wide range of printing methods allows flexible manufacturing. Screen and Epson inkjet printing for small quantities, Heidelberg CMYK print for large quantities.

tactile-feel

Varies surface finish

Unique coating and printing technology can create excellent natural finishes including tactile texture, effects like metallic, stainless steel, wooden, and fabric-like texture, by our advantaged UV transfer technology.

Deep 3D Geometry Available

Dedicated forming process prior to injection molding forms IML film deep draw and complicated geometry.

layer-protection

Physical Film Protection

Graphic layer is fully protected from abrasion by IML film. Additional functionalities like UV or chemical resistance is available by special films.

enviromental-friendly

ECO Friendly

Thin IML ink is only applied to the area where decoration is needed. Volatile organic compounds can be reduced. The user won’t touch the ink layer and no water and air pollution during production

production-volume

Flexialbe Customization

A wide range of printing methods allows flexible manufacturing. Screen and Epson inkjet printing for small quantities, Heidelberg CMYK print for large quantities.

tactile-feel

Varies surface finish

Unique coating and printing technology can create excellent natural finishes including tactile texture, effects like metallic, stainless steel, wooden, and fabric-like texture, by our advantaged UV transfer technology.

Manufacture Process

IML process consists of multiple steps – printing, forming, trimming, and molding.

Because of the dedicated forming process, the IML process is well suited for deeper draw parts and complicated geometries.

Also, since the carrier film remains on the surface with the IML process, a high-quality exterior with excellent physical properties and a sense of depth can be achieved.

Composition

iml-composition

Process Steps

Printing

For IML film, IMD Cases has three printing methods – Epson InkJet Printing, Heidelberg CMYK print,  and Silk-screen printing. Depending on the design specification and production volume, the best printing method will be chosen based on requirements.

Forming and Trimming

IML film is positioning in the forming tooling and formed into the geometry of the part’s shape by high heat and high pressure provided by the special machine. Then the periphery film is trimmed by die cut machine and its corresponding mold.

IML Injection

Formed IML film is inserted into the injection tooling with high-precision positioning, The melted resin injects into the mold and Integrate with the inserted film together by high heat and high pressure.

Finished Product

After injection molding, the result is finished decorated products, with the designed Graphics/Textures.

Technical Specification

Printing method for IML Film

Epson InkJet Printing, Heidelberg CMYK print, and Silk-screen priting. (roll format and sheet format)

Carrier film material (The film remaining on products)

PET, PC, PMMA+ABS (laminated)

Forming depth

Not over 20% of the product's lenght (with Rounded transition)

Applicable resin for injection molding

TPU, TPE, ABS, PC, PC+ABS, PCTG(Low-temp PC)

Surface finish (Gloss level)

High Glossy, Matt, Mid Matt, Rubbberize Matt

Surface finish (VM = Vacuum Metallization)

ALVM (Aluminum VM), LCVM (Low Conductive VM), Chrome VM, Discoloration VM

Surface function

Hard Coat (Scratch resistance), UV shielding, Anti finger print, Anti reflection

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