Verstraete introduces clear labels for IML

July 24, 2012

Clear polymer labels have long been used in self adhesive-based labels when brand owners prefer to showcase the product inside the package rather than just the package itself. Now, brand owners can choose a clear in-mold label from printing company Verstraete. The company’s newest super-transparent film makes creative innovations possible in a variety of IML applications, including leaving sections of the label clear to create a “no-label” look.

A SuperClear IML label printed at the top and bottom to allow the product inside to be seen clearly through the label.

Until recently, the potential of a super-transparent solution appeared to be limited because the technology involved using a primer in combination with a UV lacquer. That resulted in a portion of the film’s original transparency being lost. This process was also complicated and expensive. Verstraete announced that it has overcome these obstacles.
SuperClear provides the injection molder and the brand owner with tremendous flexibility using a technique that allows a wide variety of IML looks that can be created with the same line.  “If the brand owner wants to switch to a label that has a different shape, there are no additional costs for reprogramming the IML robot,” said Dieter Maes, business development manager for Verstraete. “This offers injection molders and brand owners the option to market multiple variations in packaging that are all produced in the same line, and with maximum flexibility and no changeover costs.”
In addition, Maes added, “There is no extra time needed to change the machine configuration after injecting with regular IML labels.”
Maes told PlasticsToday that the SuperClear IML labels are used primarily on clear containers and packages so that the product can be shown through the container or package.  “SuperClear ILM now offers brand owners the opportunity to create a crystal clear label, which allows the customer to actually see right through the packaging to the actual product,” he said, adding that previous attempts at transparency ended up with a film that was rather “hazy.”
Another advantage to the SuperClear IML product is “definitely the high flexibility for brand owners and injection molders.” Using SuperClear IML, the illusion of a “floating label” can be achieved by printing only on the top half of the label, “something that would be a huge challenge—or even impossible—with a standard white IML label.”
Verstraete developed the new SuperClear IML product in response to brand owners’ demand for a clear label that could be used in the IML process that would remain crystal clear. “The standard transparent labels we offered in the past didn’t meet their needs sufficiently,” said Maes. “The more transparent the label is, the more the actual product can be seen, and the product itself becomes part of the branding strategy.”
Since the introduction of the SuperClear IML product, Maes said that there has been a “large demand for SuperClear IML. This innovation gets a lot of attention from food packages such as confectionary and sauces.”


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