The Rise of Sustainable Packaging a Focus on IML Technology

Vinodhini Harish

26 Jun 2024
Are you against single-use plastics? The yearly global plastic production has reached over 400 million tons and is expected to grow to 35 billion tons by 2050 and it is no surprise. They have created a huge challenge to our environment. Now, the Packaging industry is often criticized for overusing plastics due to their practices such as excessive Packaging, single-use Packaging and utilizing plastics for aesthetic reasons at the cost of sustainability. Therefore, the Packaging industries are coming up with new technologies and innovations that emphasize sustainability. If you are following the trends and updates regarding the adoption of circular economy in the plastic industry, you should continue reading this article. Let’s begin.

Inclination towards sustainability practices:

Plastics are simply inevitable in the Packaging sector. Since plastics provide excellent barriers against moisture, oxygen, and contaminants they keep the food fresh and safe. Also, plastics allow companies to create visually appealing Packaging for their products such as vibrant graphics, and other elements for branding purposes.

Companies worldwide, especially Indian Packaging industries have come up with innovative and sustainable Packaging solutions or mitigation strategies such as minimalist Packaging, smart Packaging, reducing the amount of plastics, leveraging transparency tracking down the progress and driving with accountability.

Since the awareness among consumers towards sustainable solutions is growing, companies want to showcase themselves as environmentally responsible and their sustainable practices to attract customers.

IML technology in the Packaging industry:

You can’t keep the image of the eye-catching labels of your favourite beverage or the outer Packaging box of a new appliance from your favourite brand. If you have the habit of reusing those plastic containers for kitchen or utility purposes, you may notice that these labels stay there in the plastic containers longer than usual. These labels carry the mark of innovation from Mold – Tek Packaging Ltd. For a long time, Mold- Tek has been the silent sculptor who worked for the branding of these food and beverage companies.

Mold-Tek Packaging Ltd. have earned the trust of the leading industry leaders from household brands to big giants. Every industry relies on the expertise demonstrated over the years. The IML technology developed by Mold-Tek Packaging Ltd. Protects the product and ticks the aesthetical requirements while focusing on sustainable practices.

What is IML technology? IML technique the pre-printed labels are placed into the mold before even inserting the plastics, after that the plastics are injected into the mold which allows the encapsulation of the product with the label. The process typically is done in three different ways such as injection moulding, blow moulding and thermoforming, but the idea remains the same. Therefore, the technology made high-quality labelling and branding possible most sustainably.

Steps involved in the IML process:
  1. Designing the label: The designing team of the company’s brainstorms, researches, and analyzes various factors of the products such as features, benefits, unique selling points, target audiences, market trends and others and then comes up with labels for their products. Then These labels are finalized and printed on special substrates.
  2. Label cutting: The labels are cut using rotary dies or steel rule dies to get the precise shapes and sizes that precisely match the containers or boxes. Then the manufacturers employ laser cutting technologies for higher precision. Now, the design engineers and developers align the shape of the labels to conform to the contours of the mold cavity. Therefore, complex shapes require more precise cutting methods.

    For instance, the rounded corners or specific edge shapes are given more focus to avoid peeling away or misalignment of the labels during the molding process. The designers and developers also consider optimization of the materials to avoid wastage and the scraped materials are recycled for efficient management of the materials. Then the labels are then integrated into the molding process. Thus, in contrast to the conventional printing methods, the number of production steps is reduced. The reduced number of steps in the production processes leads to reducing the scrape rates and reducing the material wastage compared to the conventional labelling processes.
  3. Label placements: The labels are then placed into the mold with the help of automation systems. This eliminates human errors and ensures precise alignment of the containers with the labels without disturbing the branding value.  Especially the technology helps much in the incorporation of QR codes, RFID tags, and NFC technologies for interactive and trackable products. The technology also goes well with advanced graphical elements such as holographic, 3D effects for more engaging product Packaging.
  4. Molding: The moulding process is where the plastic is injected, blown or thermoformed into the mould. IML coating technology encloses the decoration or image between two or more layers of plastic materials which exhibits brilliance to the image with anti-scratch characteristics to the labels.
  5. Cooling and ejection: The molded parts are then allowed to cool down and ejected from the mold with the label integrated.

Growth of IML printing technology:

The market value of IMP printing technology was at USD 407 million in 2023 and is expected to reach USD 914.2 million by 2030 with a CAGR of 12.0%. Since the cutting-edge Packaging method is both aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting, they are preferred by several sectors including consumer products, cosmetics, medicines, food industries and significant others.

IML labels act as an excellent barrier against UV light, chemicals and moisture, therefore the labels serve as good protectors and ensure the integrity and freshness of the contents inside the container, especially food.

The performance and longevity of the IML labels are further enhanced by the incorporation of new materials and adhesives.

The Packaging industry is immensely driven by consumer demand for environmentally responsible products and technologies that reduce the environmental footprint. There are several advancements in the Packaging industry and IML technology stands as a representation of all of these innovations. Overall, IML technology and sustainable practices are shaping the future of the Packaging industry and paving the way for a more sustainable and responsible future.


articles More

Contact Now
Have a question or feedback, let us know!

Please enter the string as shown above: