IMDA Awards Recognize the Best in IML/IMD/IME

The 2022 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 2021 or slated for release in 2022. Entries received from around the world showcased the best in in-mold design and technical achievement in markets ranging from food packaging and automotive to consumer goods and electronics. This year’s entries were judged based on overall design and complexity; integration of the in-mold element into the part or package; functionality; and innovation in the use of materials and processes. Manufacturing difficulty and complexity of the part, label, design or mold also were considered.

The 2022 IMDA Awards Competition would not have been possible without the support of these sponsoring companies: KURZ, InkWorks Printing, StackTeck, Innovia, YUPO Corporation America, Wipfli and Sussex IM. Thank you to these companies that have stepped up to support the IMDA and the competition.

2022 Judges’ Choice Award: Distinguished Achievement for Use of Design and Molding to Create an Aesthetic, Tactile Experience
Winner: iRobot DD Robot Vacuum
Submitted by: IMR Technology Co., Ltd.
Brand Owner: iRobot
Molder: IMR Technology Co., Ltd.
Label Supplier: IMR Technology Co., Ltd.
IMR Technology provided a printed decorative cover for a recognized robot vacuum manufacturer. The color is a matte finish with multi-layer color distribution, with the matte print and mold surface features perfectly matched to create texture in the surface. In awarding this application the 2022 Judges’ Choice Award, the judges recognized the excellent integration of part design with in-mold decoration. The aesthetics of the part, the quality of the print and the matte finish of the material really give this part a fabric look and feel. The judges applaud IMR Technology for excellent execution, from part and graphic design through molding.

Best Use of IMD with Metallic Effects
Winner: Residential Home Ventilation Trim Ring
Submitted by: Polyfab Daiho, LLC
Brand Owner: Broan
Molder: Polyfab Daiho, LLC
Label Supplier: InkWorks
This is a replacement design for current all-metal trim rings, with flat in-mold decoration molded on to an angled surface. This eliminated the possible need for a preform IMD and provided significant cost saving over a metal finished trim ring. If the product would have launched as initially designed in metal, it would have been manufactured in steel, then finished and plated. All three of these processes were eliminated with IMD.

Honorable Mention: KURZ TieSie
Submitted by: KURZ
Brand Owner: KURZ
Molder: KURZ
Label Supplier: KURZ
TieSie is a customized combination of printing techniques that unites the advantages of gravure and silk screen printing, while creating completely new design possibilities. Real metallized films can be 3D-formed and back-lit at the same time.

Best Use of IMD for Capacitive Touch Applications
Winner: User Interface
Submitted by: Nissha Eimo Technologies, Inc.
Brand Owner: Electrolux
Molder: Nissha Eimo Technologies, Inc.
Label Supplier: Nissha
This capacitive touch application actually is located inside the freezer and refrigerator, with a brushed satin metal appearance, hidden-til-lit graphics and a fingerprint-resistant surface. Despite some challenges with film registration on this long part, the geometry and decoration requirements made this a perfect fit for in-mold decoration, delivering a premium look with high durability.

Best Use of IMD for Consumer Goods/Durable Products
Winner: Kimberly-Clark Professional
ICON Dispenser Collection
Submitted by: KURZ
Brand Owner: Kimberly-Clark
Molder: Dispensing Dynamics International, Inc.
Label Supplier: KURZ
The ICON™ collection is a new family of hand towel, soap and toilet paper dispensers created to enhance the washroom experience through intersection of style, hygiene and advanced engineering. The dispenser category hasn’t experienced significant innovation in decades. ICON™ products set a new standard for aesthetic flexibility for customization and integration into a wide variety of environments. The initial launch features six, interchangeable faceplate styles developed with input from architects and interior designers. The platform is designed to support unlimited color, material and finish customization enabling timeless design.

Best Use of IML/IMD in an Innovative Application
Winner: Xtremity Prosthetic Leg
Submitted by: Serigraph
Brand Owner: Medical Creations
Molder: Sovereign Plastics
Label Supplier: Serigraph
The journey an amputee goes through is almost never an easy one. The fitting process of a traditional carbon fiber socket takes many office visits and weeks of prep time … and often need adjustments as the patient’s anatomy changes. The long fabrication time of traditional sockets and numerous appointments result in delays returning to normal activities. This thermoformable socket system can be provided in as little as a single appointment and can be easily adjusted in only a few minutes. The decorative applique is cosmetically appealing due to a variety of different finishes and durable enough for the seven different socket sizes that make up the fully assembled component / prosthetic application.

Honorable Mention: Cryptex Security Box
Submitted by: DuraTech Industries
Brand Owner: Cryptex
Molder: Benchmark Injection Molding
Label Supplier: DuraTech Industries
Currently produced in small volumes with a screen-printed decorative label, the product must maintain adhesion and resist wear due to the handling required to open the container. Second surface printing and a round shape made in-mold decorating a more suitable choice than adhesive-backed labels for this application.

Best Use of IML, Package or Container
Winner: Patápain Salad Box
Submitted by: MCC Verstraete
Brand Owner: Patápain
Molder: Carty
Label Supplier: MCC Verstraete
The salad box of Patàpain is a bowl that is reusable, freezable, microwaveable and dishwasher proof. The packaging and the Reverse IML label have a very high resistance and the label is completely scratch resistant. Additionally, the packaging itself communicates all of these benefits, encouraging consumers to reuse the packaging.

Honorable Mention: Keter Decobox
Submitted by: MCC Verstraete
Brand Owner: Curver
Molder: Keter
Label Supplier: MCC Verstraete
To differentiate these products from the competition, Keter regularly comes up with new and refreshing designs. Responding to consumers trends and meeting the diverse needs of a wide-spread audience, Keter creates playful designs for kids and sophisticated artworks for adults. Since Keter often needs to respond to consumer trends at a fast pace, a decoration technique that is capable of quick design changeovers was a must-have.

Best In-Mold Label
Winner: De Dames van Akkerlust
Submitted by: MCC Verstraete
Brand Owner: De Dames van Akkerlust
Molder: Jokey Group
Label Supplier: MCC Verstraete
De Dames van Akkerlust is a new ice cream brand, which uses only 100% organic milk. The IML packaging is unique by the using of Interactive IML, where a digital watermark is integrated into the packaging. This intelligent feature adds value in the packaging journey – from tracking and authenticating products to boosting customer engagement to digitally sorting the package for recycling. The ice cream brand is made on a sustainable farm, so the packaging needed to be sustainable as well.

Honorable Mention: MEGGLE
Submitted by: Korsini
Brand Owner: MEGGLE
Molder: Novoplast
Label Supplier: Korsini-SAF In Mold
By printing on metallic foil, a shiny look is preserved for this flexible packaging IML application on a polypropylene substrate. The container also has a light barrier effect, with high white opacity to cover the colors’ contrast against the metallic effect. Perfect positioning was required to execute the oval corners.

Sustainable Use of In-Mold Processes
Winner: Kekkilä
Submitted by: MCC Verstraete
Brand Owner: Hasselfors Garden
Molder: Dijkstra Plastics
Label Supplier: MCC Verstraete
Kekkilä wanted to market a series of 100% organic fertilizers for consumers, with an environmentally friendly bucket as the packaging vehicle. The challenge for MCC Verstraete was to perfectly match the colors of the PCR bucket, which is feasible with IML. In this application, square cappuccino-colored buckets are used in combination with an IML label in paper-look motif, with the bucket, lid and bracket made of 100% recycled material.

Honorable Mention: Elements
Submitted by: KURZ
Brand Owner: KURZ
Label Supplier: KURZ
For this application, all parts were produced off the same mold, created with recycled resins, and an IMD surface coating was applied to protect the plastic layer of the part to meet automotive specifications. In some cases, a decoration was also included in the IMD layer to add to the natural surface using both matte and gloss effects, with the part created in four different colors or patterns. This part is 100% recyclable and sustainable.