The fifth annual parts competition sponsored by the In-Mold Decorating Association (IMDA), yielded some deserving winners. The parts competition gave awards to both IMD and IML (In-mold Label) entrants. "The 2011 IMDA Awards Competition honors the industry's best in-mold labeled packaging and in-mold decorated durable products," said Ron Schultz, Executive Director of the IMDA. The IMLCON & IMDCON events were held Nov. 16-18, 2011, in Phoenix.
From the in-mold decorated durable goods entrants, the Best IMD Durable Product went to the Washer/ Dryer Control Panel submitted by the molder, Serigraph Inc. Chemical-resistant polyester film was second-surface printed and encapsulated using IMD for a "robust construction" that meets tough appliance industry performance standards. The 85-degree bend across the top of the panel was created in the mold process, eliminating the added cost of a secondary forming operation. Interchangeable buttons in the mold enabled multiple button/feature set combinations for a variety of colored panels so an entire product line runs in one injection mold.
The Best Injection Molded Part went to an IMD entrant: the Laundry Control Panel, submitted by Serigraph Inc. The molder is TH Plastics Inc. The many outstanding features that made this part exceptional included the precision printing, selective use of chrome, and in-mold formed bade and in-mold embossed buttons capable of actuating over 100,000 times without failure. It is used on three different washer and dryer platforms, each with a unique design. The versatility of the IMD process delivered individual button geometries, perimeter shape, graphics and accents to differentiate one product line from another.
The in-mold label packaging winners included an award for Best Label Design, which went to the Venice Mask Box - a truly striking label design submitted by al Printing. The molder is Curver. The OEM tested a variety of different combinations of inks and lacquers in the molding process, and ultimately came up with t his six-color, UV flexographically printed label. Three additional lacquers and special inks were needed to give this label the final metal glossy look without compromising all the mechanical properties required for molding. The Venice Mask Box not only makes an attractive shelf display for the product inside, but also serves as a beautiful storage box for the mask's owner after purchase.
An Honorable Mention for Label Design was given to the Wisk Laundry Detergent bottle, submitted by Multi-Color Corp. The molder is Graham Packaging and the Brand Owner is Sun Products. In late 2010, Sun Products went through a major brand re-design for the company's Wisk Laundry Detergent. A new advertising campaign and new formula focused on the "Science of Stain Fighting." Sun Products desired a label that would highlight this modern outlook on fabric care, as well as attract valuable shelf presence in the uber-competitive laundry market. The resulting product has the ultimate no-label look while utilizing in-line cold-foil application in a flexographic printing process. Additionally, the cold-foil was optimized to ensure regrinding capabilities at the blow molder.
The Best Part Design using IML technology went to the Red Path Sugar Container, submitted by Ropak Packaging, which is also the molder. The Brand Owner is Red Path Sugar Ltd. This packaging is so different than the paper bags we're used to seeing on store shelves. It's attractive, functional and reusable. Red Path Sugar's patented 2.3-L EZ Stor container has a tamper-evident hinged cover that makes it easy to dispense the product over time as well as reseal the product for long-lasting freshness. The in-mold labeling maximizes billboard area to help sell the product on store shelves. The space efficient rectangular shape maximizes shelf density in retail stores as well as on a pallet during transportation and is easily stored in the consumer's cupboard for reuse.
The Best Product Family award for IML packaging technology went to Enfamil Infant Formula, submitted by the Brand Owner, Mead Johnson Nutrition. The molder is Plastic Moulders. The re-usable tub with refill pouch concept is the first of its kind in the infant formula category. The tub and specially designed IML structure is intended to be re-used and can withstand multiple dishwasher cycles. The injection molded oval shaped tub allows for easy gripping and handling. The specially designed high gloss in-mold label also incorporates the use of foil in the gold swoosh and Enfamil brand stamp to accent the premium brand image.
An Honorable Mention was also given in the Product Family category - the Thor 7-Eleven cups, submitted by Inland Label. The molder is Technimark and the Brand Owner is 7-Eleven. These great-looking cups use Inland Label's patented laminated technology for IML, enabling the Thor family of cups to achieve a high-end reflective metallic look on an injection in-mold container. The laminated construction makes these cups much more durable than their cavitated white film counterparts allowing them to withstand hundreds of dishwasher cycles with zero negative impact on the label. High quality gravure printing provides photo quality graphics that accurately replicate the characters in the movie, making the cups a premium souvenir fans will collect and keep.
The Best Thin Wall Packaging award went to the Rugenwalder Teewurst Package, submitted by Marbach Moulds & Automation GmbH. Weidenhammer Plastic Packaging GmbH is the molder and the Brand Owner is Rugenwalder Muhle Carl Juller und Co. KG. For the first time, noted the company, an advanced IML process enables seamless integration of side and bottom labels without edges in a single step. This cup design was previously only possible with thermoformed containers and sleeve labels. The IML full-cover-labeling process developed by Marbach Moulds & Automation makes it possible to integrate a seamless, all-around label in a single step while retaining the soft contour of the bot5tom that is standard with thermoform packaging. This IML container offers greater design freedom with the same "hand finished" look and feel, and its technique is the next step in doing barrier IML projects.