Specialists in automation for injection moulding processes, Waldorf Technik, have announced the development of a new process for inserting IML labels quickly and safely in the middle of stack moulds.
This new development is expected to have positive benefits for injection moulders and their customers.
The method involves the insertion of printed foils into the injection moulding tool to create an integrated process in just one operating step to deliver an attractively decorated cup or lid.
Unlike in alternative methods such as offset or silkscreen, post-printing and sleeving, the print image can be switched with practically no setup times, making it an inexpensive procedure.
For many years, single face moulds offered a wide range of options for inside and outside gated packaging geometries, but for stack moulds, the insertion of IML labels was restricted to the outer platen of the tool.
The new development however has succeeded in bringing a further standard automation for IML stack moulds on stream, which allows up to 8+8 labels to be inserted into the inner plates of stack moulds as efficiently, precisely and safely as for single face tools.
This development could be especially important for toolmakers as well as injection moulders and food manufacturers, as stack moulds are normally used when large quantities are needed.
Holger Kast, Sales Manager at Waldorf Technik, said: “The danger of threads forming when using efficient stack moulds is lessened by injecting containers from the outside.
“Manufacturers, who have hitherto been producing on single face tools for reasons of quality, can in the future achieve almost double the output in the same space and with the same injection moulding machine.
“By comparison with IML containers already made with stack moulds, the outside gating to be used in the future can be expected to result in shorter cooling times for many products and therefore to higher output.”
Injection moulders who already use a normal stack mould will not be required to buy a new one if they wish to convert from offset printing or labelling to IML decoration.
Instead, the new automated option to insert the labels in the middle plates can be achieved after a simple adjustment to the existing tools at no great cost.