Ever Seen ‘Orange Peel’ IML? Feel the ‘Peel’ at NPE2018
It’s not a new technology, but it is intriguing, and there will be several examples in production at NPE2018 in Orlando, Fla., this week.
So-called “orange-peel IML” caught my attention in a recent announcement by Verstraete IML of Belgium (which is soon to open a new plant in Batavia, Ohio). Mackie’s of Scotland is using in-mold labels from Verstraete to decorate injection molded PP ice cream tubs in 1- and 2-L sizes (photo). Mackie’s chose an IML option called orange peel or satin gloss, that employs a multilayer film structure with PP foam in the center. The high temperatures and pressures of injection molding cause a partial collapse of that foam, which creates the orange-peel look and texture.
See and touch that effect at several NPE booths this week: Absolute Robot (ARI), Worcester, Mass., is molding a 130-ml cup with a Verstraete orange-peel, wrap-around IML label in Booth W4182. Arburg (U.S. office in Rocky Hill, Conn.) is using Verstraete orange-peel IML on a 125-ml cup molded in Booth W1325. CBW Automation, Fort Collins, Colo. (Booth W943), is producing a wet-wipes container with a Verstraete side-panel orange-peel IML. And Trexel, Wilmington, Mass. (Booth W551), is molding a 200-ml thin-wall, single-serve cup with MuCell microcellular foaming and Verstraete orange-peel, wrap-around IML.
These are just some of the 12 IML demos being run with Verstraete labels at NPE. Verstraete, which has its own booth (S19154) considers the most innovative of its IML demos at the show to be:
- A PLA bioplastic coffee capsule with compostable PLA label is being run in four cavities at Beck Automation of Switzerland (Booth S35146).
- A 5-gal pail with combination matte and high-gloss label is being run at LK Systems, Ladera Ranch, Calif. (U.S. branch of a Hong Kong injection machine builder), in Booth S12011.
- A shaker cup with a transparent reverse-printed IML label is being molded at the booth (W2173) of Yushin America, Cranston, R.I.
Robots are gaining the ability to monitor their internal systems for remote troubleshooting and predictive maintenance. They also are reporting production data.
Using recycled content in packaging reduces the environmental footprint of the package and incentivizes recycling. There are plenty of technical solutions to overcome the barriers.
In Orlando, you’ll glimpse the future, and it’s automated and interconnected. But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways for plants of all sizes to get in on these trends.