Can paper replace plastic for in-mold labeling? The answer, according to Finnish paper and packaging supplier Stora Enso (Helsinki), is "Yes." The company has developed what it calls InnoMould, a range of paper labels it claims can replace plastic films for use in in-mold labeling. Of note are its claims regarding a processor's ability to cut wall thickness on packaging due to the additional top-load strength such paper labels bring to a package.
Paper labels for IML are not new, but they have not gained much ground in injection molding. At the K 2010 trade show in Düsseldorf, Germany, injection molding machine manufacturer Ferromatik Milacron ran one of its Vitesse 300 (3000-kN) molding forming in-mold labeled rectangular lids with a 4+4-cavity stack mold in a cycle time of 5 seconds. In one parting line in the stack mold four PP lids labeled with PP labels from Belgium label supplier Verstraete were produced. In the second parting line, four lids with paper labels from Engelhardt were molded....