by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
FLEXO Magazine : August 2009
PLANTS & PROCESSES PRESS BUYER’S GUIDE Molding the Future Rebuilt Equipment Drives Opportunity and Growth for US Converter By Jill Smith F or brand owners, delivering a quality product onto retail shelves is critical, especially where quality is represented both inside and out. While it is solely the manufacturer’s responsibility to make sure the product inside is competitive, responsibility is shared with the converter to contribute by supplying a label that will make that product stand out when displayed alongside its rivals. Converters need to be sensitive to the various label application methods available to them and take advantage of those that offer distinct advantages to their clients. Durability of a label is an attribute that is in high demand— and not only from the end-user’s point of view. Government and agency regulations on product labeling have become more stringent in recent years, making it more important for labels to remain legible and in tact throughout the life of the product. This is true for products in the pharmaceutical, food, beverage and healthcare markets, as well as for durable goods such as appliances, power equipment and automotive parts. In-mold labeling (IML) has proven to be an effective method to achieve these requirements and has grown in popularity over recent years. By molding the label into the product, durability is no longer an issue. In-mold labels also enhance the product by reducing the container weight, reinforcing the wall of the product and making it more aesthetically pleasing, as the label doesn’t look applied or “stuck on” but sophisticated looking as an integrated part of the total package. The IML process consists of a label (either fi lm material or treated paper) being placed into an open mold. The label is held in position until the mold closes with a plastic resin injection, resulting in conformation of the label to the shape of the product. The fi nal result is a label that is part of the product instead of glue- or pressure sensitive-applied to the outside (Figure A). The label is more resistant to the wear and tear of shipping and handling, creating a more durable and permanent label. Additionally, if the label is made of the same material as the container, recycling is a breeze. IML has seen great success in the in-line fl exographic printing process since the early 1990s, and the • Adapt a rebuilt press to specifi c confi gurations and requirements. • Fully certifi ed units offer warrantees similar to new presses. • Pricetag is 30 to 50 percent less than a new press. 46 FLEXO AUGUST use of fi lm labels continues to gain in popularity around the world as consumerism rises globally. So when the Industramark™ business unit of Standard Register was approached with an opportunity to integrate a revolutionary fi lm technology into its label manufacturing process, the fi rm grabbed it. BREAKING INTO THE MOLD technology. “The 7mil micro porous plastic fi lm becomes a part of the product by bonding with virtually all thermoplastics, resulting in labels that can withstand the elements of nature, rough handling and resistance to harsh chemicals,” said David Coughlin, director of operations, Industramark. His fi rm sees this as a major growth opportunity, as IML will enhance the appearance of durable plastic parts and packaging while signifi cantly reducing the risk of label failure. Once Industramark was sold on the new fi lm technology, it needed to determine how best to utilize this material and achieve success in IML. Standard Register and Mark Andy Inc. have had a long history of success with in-line fl exographic label printing. The company has more than 30 Comco and Mark Andy presses in operation throughout several production facilities. Standard Register, a long-time FTA printer member, has a history in providing products and services to a variety of industries including automotive, fi nancial, government, healthcare, industrial manufacturing and retail. The Industramark business unit is the division of the company dedicated to industrial manufacturing, supplying functional labels, decorative labels and technical literature, in addition to many other services to enhance the manufacturing environment. Industramark’s previous experience with fl exographic printing had been in industrial and prime decorative pressure-sensitive labels. Thanks to a strategic partnership recently entered into with Dayton, OH-based Fusion Graphics, the company is now able to offer in-mold labeling and decorating by using patented Grafi lm® To successfully enter the IML market, accurate registration, web tension and heat management were critical. The Industramark team was invited to the Milford showroom to view some tests on a Comco ProGlide. They needed tight registration at levels critical to the quality requirements of the healthcare and safety labels being run. Print quality consistency and quick changeovers were also key infl uencers. 2009 www.flexography.org