Where “injection moulding” is concerned, it is the international trade fair for plastics processing Fakuma in Friedrichshafen/Germany where the experts meet. For years now, it’s ranked as one of the leading plastics trade forums, this year held in October.
And that was the place where Beck Automation AG introduced its new IML high-speed thin-wall technology. For the first time Beck labelled transparent polystyrene (PS) thin wall cups with a 3.3 seconds cycle time per shot for 4 cups.
For those, who are not familiar with the technology the following. IML technology consists in decorating bottles, containers and other plastic parts directly in the forming mould (blow or injection moulding). The label is produced on a plastic film, and the availability of different materials allows the production of mono-component labelled containers or decorated plastic parts which are totally recyclable. (for production diagrams go to my Packaging Dictionary)
IML labelling excludes the labelling machine which means that two traditionally separate processes are integrated in only one, eliminating a potential source of machine stops and increasing the efficiency of the whole production line.
IML guarantees perfect labelling results: no glue residues, no wrinkles, no blisters. The label can not be removed and is perfectly stretched on the container, like a painting in its frame. There also are transparent substrates available, with which the label and the container have a visual integration; that’s what’s called the ”No-Label-Look”.
Beck Automation AG in Oberengstringen (Switzerland) is among the leading providers for IML (in-mould-labelling) automation solutions in the injection moulding industry, while specializing in decorating/labelling lids, cups, bowls and buckets in various industrial areas.
The automations high speed is a result from the interaction of a manufacturing cell consisting of an Engel Austria GmbH speed 180/55 (Schwertberg/Austria) injection moulding machine and a hot runner mould from Glaroform (Näfels/Switzerland). With eight production plants in Europe, North America and Asia (China, Korea), the Engel brand denotes the world’s largest manufacturer of injection moulding machines and one of the world’s leading plastics processing machine manufacturers.
The 4 cavity mould from Glaroform loads the Engel machine with a shot weight of 41 g. With a wall thickness of 0,5mm, each thin-wall cup has a net weight of 10.25 g. By means of a side handling, Beck Automation takes out the completed cup and simultaneously places the labels for the new to blow cups.
Apart from the phenomenal speed of 3.3 sec. cycle time, the final result is impressive, as the labels from Viappiani (Segrate/Italy) obtain, through their perfect geometry and precise application at this high speed, an astonishing convincing look.
Viappiani Printing was founded in 1929 and specialized in the production of labels. More than 30 years ago the company developed the IML label technology and the production of In-Mould-Labels became its main business.
The novelty is the in-mould-labelling of a thin-walled clear transparent PS cup. These cups are used in large numbers by airline companies. Through the label, the airlines can discreetly communicate with the passenger while the content can attractively be presented.