In-Mold Labeling and Digital Printing Technology – Two Technologies Combine to Give You Awesome Results

In-mold labeling is cool and different – imagine fusing the label into the actual product, making the two become one, so you have a hard time telling where the product starts and the label ends. (For more on what in-mold labeling involves, be sure to read our other white paper).

Digital printing is cool and different – so cool that it’s projected in many circles to generate over one billion dollars a year in revenue. It’s printing without plates, optimized for smaller, on-demand runs, and it easily handles personalization of each and every piece.

Both technologies are pretty killer by themselves, but combining them is where you truly start to get breathtaking results. And if you’re involved in the manufacturing or consumer goods world in any way, digitally printed in-mold labels should really be a head turner. Why?

The Personalized “No Label Look” – It’s hard to resist.

We have a customer who orders personalized drinkware – lots and lots of it – for various organizations. Each time our customer places an order, there are as many as twenty different label runs on the same ticket, with each run featuring a different picture and information for the specific organization. You can do that in traditional printing, but plate costs would become astronomical for all of these different personalized pieces, and it wouldn’t be cost-effective to order different labels in groups. Digital printing operates from a database, not plates, so it can easily handle multiple sku’s in a single run – because who really wants all of their labels to be the same? And if you’re looking to make your product stand out, traditional labels that you’d find at most digital printers are frankly sort of boring – everyone can print those. In-mold labels, on the other hand, are unique, aren’t easily replicated, and provide a truly eye-catching experience, making any plastic product more desirable. It’s the “no label” look, and it’s catching on in a big way.

Longer-lasting brilliant graphics. Just what your product needed.

As digital printing gets more advanced, the quality of the graphics get better and better. Forget photo-quality…our graphics are so good that they seem to jump off the page and come to life. A recent Nielson/Bases study showed that more consumers gain information about products they intend to purchase from product packaging than from TV ads. If that’s the case, making a good first impression with your packaging is essential, and there’s no better way to make your message pop than by using digital printing. The beauty of in-mold labeling is that it is extremely functional and durable, because what’s the good of a great looking label if it’s easily destroyed? In-mold labels are much harder to scratch or deface, and much more fade resistant than traditional labels, because they’re built into the wall of the product. They can’t be removed from the product, so your message is in front of the customer at all times. Combining the best of both technologies takes your labels to a whole new level of functionality, and it might just take your sales to a new level too.

Green. Greener. Great.

Let’s face it, we don’t see manufacturers as a green segment of the population. Many people hear the word and imagine towering smokestacks choking the oxygen out of our atmosphere and tons of energy wasted from complex, high octane processes. The printing industry typically gets a bad rap because it’s based around the production of paper, which is often obtained through deforestation and not often recycled for further use. And traditional printers do have a problem with generating excessive waste, which occurs during the lengthy set-up process necessary for each run. Digital printing doesn’t create that waste, because set-up is as simple as pulling a file from the database, there’s no mess that occurs with creating plates, and it doesn’t take much material to calibrate the press. Unlike traditional pressure-sensitive paper labels, in-mold labeling doesn’t require adhesives, or paper at all – most of these labels are made out of plastic. And our labels are produced on super thin materials, helping us keep our material inventory and overall waste low. Once the label has been fused into the product, the two can be recycled together, making it easier to keep the planet clean.

Digital printing and in-mold labeling have both been around for some time in their respective industries, but few printers have yet to harness the power of both technologies and create an entirely new product. We’re one of them, and our technology recently won an innovation award in the city of Milwaukee. If your products involve plastics of any kind, and you’re looking for a better way to brand what you’re selling, take a look at digitally printed in-mold labels. It’s not traditional, but different stands out every time, and daring to be different just might give you an edge in the market.

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