IMDA Awards Competition Recognizes the Best in IML/IMD/IME

Plastics Decorating

The 2021 In-Mold Decorating Association (IMDA) Awards Competition recognized outstanding in-mold labeling (IML), in-mold decorating (IMD) and in-mold electronics (IME) submissions that were produced in 2020 or slated for release in 2021. Entries received from around the world showcased the best in in-mold design and technical achievement, and this year’s competition featured new categories to recognize innovations related to sustainability and the COVID-19 pandemic. The following entrants were recognized in the 2021 IMDA Awards Competition.

Best IMD – Consumer Goods / Durable Product

Winner: User Interface
Submitted By: Eimo Technologies, Inc.
Brand Owner: GE Appliance
Molder: Eimo Technologies, Inc.
Label Supplier: Nissha

This entry impressed the competition judges with the number of decorative and functional elements contained within one part. The customer required a premium look for the product, which required incorporating all of the cosmetic needs (chrome, high gloss, hard coat and hidden-until-lit LED areas) in a single IMD film. Without IMD, those individual operations would have had too high of a cost to satisfy the program budget. The high-gloss look with UV hard coat and custom-designed artwork make this commercially successful.

Honorable Mention: FORD F-150 City Map
   (XLT Sport Series door applique)
Submitted By: KURZ
Brand Owner: Ford Motor Company
Molder: CS Manufacturing; Faurecia
Label Supplier: KURZ

Best IML Package – Blow Mold

Winner: Miracle-Gro Performance Organics
   All Purpose Plant Nutrition Granules, 2.5 lb
Submitted By: YUPO Corporation America
Brand Owner: The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company
Molder: Silgan
Label Supplier: CCL

The judges appreciated the shelf impact provided by the striking color choices and size of label with 100% ink coverage. The product was a new entrant in this retail space, requiring a strong structural design, a bold color palette and durable IML labeling so it would be visually stunning and durable on the shelf. IML ensured the entire package is waterproof for outdoor storage and display, but consumer safety also was a factor – the contents are potentially harmful, so it was critical to use a label that would not come off.

Best IML Package – Large Container

Winner: Storm Shield exterior paint
Submitted By: MCC Verstraete
Brand Owner: German Lebanese Co. for Industry (GLC)
Molder: German Lebanese Co. for Industry (GLC)
Label Supplier: MCC Verstraete

GLC CEO Anwer El Hout explained, “To market our high-end Storm Shield range, we needed packaging that represents the quality and durability of the paint inside. IML was the obvious choice for creating an innovative and exclusive design, and metallic IML provides unique and eye-catching options.” The labels used Metallic IML foil and Matt + Spot HighGloss, allowing a unique color scope and a gradient that can be difficult to achieve.

Best IML Package – Small Container

Winner: Girasol
Submitted By: IML Solutions
Brand Owner: La Fabril
Molder: La Fabril
Label Supplier: Creaprint

The package replaces a thermoformed previous version (plastic, sleeve and carton). The new design eliminates an aluminum foil tamper-evident seal by using an optimized tight closure system. The intention of having a thin-wall, mono-material package with a more efficient and versatile production process was obtained, with a superior look and feel. IML provided a significant weight reduction without compromising functionality.

Best In-Mold Label – Aesthetics

Winner: Rama
Submitted By: MCC Verstraete
Brand Owner: Siqalo Foods (Pty) Ltd
Molder: Marcom Plastics
Label Supplier: MCC Verstraete

The judges appreciated the shelf appeal of the metallic coloring and the clever label design in this package. Metallic labels can be difficult in IML applications where static electricity holds the label in place during molding. Because full metallic labels are conductive, they dissipate static charging and this creates instability during injection of the polypropylene, causing label misalignment and product defects. For this product, the design parameters were amended to ensure that the foiled area did not exceed a specified limit.

Best In-Mold Label – Technical

Winner: Cremiger Joghurt
Submitted By: Korsini
Brand Owner: Milchwerke Schwaben eG
Molder: Berry Superfos Besancon
Label Supplier: Korsini

This is a smart label, and the IMDA Awards judges lost no time in pulling out their cellphones to test the product claims. This printed code allows the consumer to interact with the product and link to a URL via a mobile app. The feature allows the consumer to check the origins of the product and also allows retail markets to reduce time at the cash register with easy and fast sorting. Embedding the code in the design prior to label printing is a challenge since the code must not be corrupted during label application.

Honorable Mention: Gemlik Yildizi
Submitted By: Korsini
Brand Owner: Efe Ege Zeytincilik Ltd Sti
Molder: Teknopak A.S.
Label Supplier: Korsini

 

 

Prototype Product or In-House Promo

Winner: Deep Waves – BIOFENSE
Submitted By: KURZ
Brand Owner: KURZ
Molder: KURZ
Label Supplier: KURZ

High-resolution printing with a specialized vacuum metallization process provides a gloss appearance that is formable and suited for any in-mold application, including those with complex part geometries, deep drafts and radii. The metallization used is non-conductive to prevent any interference with IME applications. This part was designed to illustrate KURZ’s BIOFENSE technology, which aids in the fight against compromised surfaces by reducing and/or eliminating organisms and bacteria for the life of the product.

Sustainable Use

Winner: Van Wijhe
Submitted By: MCC Verstraete
Brand Owner: Koninklijke Van Wljhe Verf
Molder: Dijkstra Plastics
Label Supplier: MCC Verstraete

Koninklijke Van Wijhe Verf, Dijkstra Plastics, Veolia Polymers and MCC Verstraete joined forces to introduce a paint pail made from 100% Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) materials and finished with IML labels. Wijzonal’s white wall paint typically came in a white pail – a tradition in the paint world – so IML decorative technology was used to mimic that look on a charcoal gray pail. Using an IML label on this PCR paint pail also increased its sustainable footprint by producing a monomaterial product which is 100% recyclable.

In-Mold Electronics

Distinguished Achievement: Kinomec Functional Inks
Submitted By: NAMICS Corporation

NAMICS Kinomec functional inks offer depth of draw and electrical conductivity for IME applications. The market needs to integrate printable, conductive inks with IMD to create moldable parts with electrical functionality. These functional materials need to withstand thermoforming processes with deep draw and injection molding without losing functionality (electrical conductivity). In recognizing Kinomec inks, the judges acknowledged the importance of continued research and development in this space.

Innovative Use Related to COVID-19

Distinguished Achievement: Deep Waves – BIOFENSE
Submitted By: KURZ
Brand Owner: KURZ
Molder: KURZ
Label Supplier: KURZ

High-resolution printing with a specialized vacuum metallization process provides a gloss appearance that is formable and suited for any in-mold application, including those with complex part geometries, deep drafts and radii. The metallization used is non-conductive to prevent any interference with IME applications. This part was designed to illustrate KURZ’s BIOFENSE technology, which aids in the fight against compromised surfaces by reducing and/or eliminating organisms and bacteria for the life of the product.

Judges’ Choice

Distinguished Achievement for Multi-Functionality: Frylite
Submitted By: MCC Verstraete
Brand Owner: Frylite
Molder: Dijkstra Plastics
Label Supplier: MCC Verstraete

The judges were impressed with the cleverness and multifunctionality of this container design. Clients return used oil in the buckets, allowing Frylite to clean, refill and send out the same bucket up to five times. However, the company noticed buckets disappearing, an issue put down to the ease with which the previous labels peeled off. With Reverse IML labeling, the printing is placed between the IML packaging and a thin polypropylene film, securing the print, protecting it during transport and handling, and allowing it to withstand high-pressure cleaning, heat and chemicals.