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What is In-Mold Labeling?

March 27, 2020

Packaging and labeling are great tools for marketing and brand awareness. In-mold labeling and packaging is a streamlined process that makes it easy to create vivid, long-lasting product labels that are sure to be noticed on the shelf. With eye-catching graphics, it’s a great option for food, personal care, household and industrial products that require maximum durability for safety and security. But, what is in-mold labeling, and is it the right choice for your products?

In-mold labels

In-Mold Labeling

In-mold labeling (IML) describes a fully automated process in which the pre-printed IML film label is placed in the mold before the container is created. The label seamlessly fuses to the hot plastic material as its being molded, combining the production and labeling processes and eliminating the need for post-mold labeling. After curing, the container and the label become a single water- and scratch-resistant piece. This process is more efficient than other labeling methods, leading to less waste and resulting in a product that is both durable and easily recyclable / regrindable.

Blow Mold or Injection Mold?
In-mold labeling refers to the process of applying product labels to the container while manufacturing the container. Depending on your needs, there are different ways to mold the plastic containers. With injection molding, heated plastic or polypropylene is injected into a mold. It’s commonly used for producing small containers, like butter tubs or ice cream containers. However, in-mold labeling was initially designed for blow molding, in which manufacturers blow air to expand molten plastic into a mold, much like glass blowing.

With blow mold labeling, the labels are placed in the mold before a mass of heated plastic is blown into it, capturing the desired container shape and applying the label in one step. As the plastic cools, the label is infused into the material, becoming inseparable. Popular for hollow plastic bottles and similar closed containers, manufacturers often prefer the blow mold labeling process to make waterproof containers for a variety of consumer products.

Wondering where to get blow mold labeling?
Fort Dearborn Company is proud to offer blow mold labels to brands looking for long-lasting resistance to chemicals, moisture, scratching, and blistering. With production facilities across North America, dynamic packaging solutions have never been more accessible.

Fort Dearborn Company is available for all your labeling needs! Whether you need in-mold labeling, cut & stack, or roll-fed labels, flexible packaging, or promotional printing, we deliver high-quality graphics in vivid colors. Call Fort Dearborn Company today at 847-357-9500 to request more information about our expanded in-mold labeling capabilities!

Frequently Asked Questions about In-Mold Labeling
What is in-mold labeling?
In-mold labeling (IML) is a process in which producing plastic packaging and labeling plastic packaging are done at the same time during manufacturing. IML is commonly used with blow molding to create containers for liquids.

What is blow mold labeling used for?
Blow mold labeling is commonly used for medium to large liquid dispensing containers. It’s a popular method with manufacturers of food, personal care, household and industrial products.

Does Fort Dearborn Company offer blow mold labeling?
Fort Dearborn Company now offers expanded in-mold labeling (IML) capabilities. Contact us today to request samples or more information.