What Is In-Mold Decorating?

In-mold decorating is a process where a printed plastic film applique is permanently applied to a plastic part during the injection molding process. A printed, formed, and trimmed plastic film, or applique is inserted into an injection mold. Molten resin is fused to the applique during the molding process to create a fully decorated part. This process traps the printed ink between the overlay substrate and the molded plastic producing a decorated part with a high degree of abrasion and chemical durability while maintaining a vivid multi-color graphic.

This process is commonly used for durable products with long life spans such as appliances, medical devices, automotive components, consumer products, and other durable plastic parts.

 

What are the Benefits of In-Mold Decorating?

  • Design flexibility and ability to combine multiple colors, textures, and effects in a single process and integrated appearance.
  • Increased durability and design options over traditional post-mold decorating techniques like pad printing, pressure sensitive labels, hot stamping, and paint-laser-etching.
  • Eliminates secondary operations and can be automated within injection molding cycle
  • Ability to incorporate 3D graphics especially when using compound curves.
  • Graphics are permanently adhered and sealed to part to eliminate pressure sensitive adhesives and provide a good option for wash-down applications
  • Ability to easily provide graphic variation within the product line by switching applique graphics on the same injection molded part
  • Incorporate high-end appearances, embossed keys, capacitive touch, back-lighting, and dead-front graphics.

Dead Front Graphics

Inno-Flex has the proven capability to provide a multitude of different in-mold decorating appearances. Whether it is piano black gloss or dead front graphics, Inno-Flex can deliver with the consistency and precise quality required to produce these effects at high volume with superior quality.

Metallic Effects

Creating a realistic metallic appearance with in-mold decorating is a great way to reduce cost and weight. It also provides the flexibility of incorporating different textures, back-lighting, dead front effects, logos, and alpha-numeric text. Chrome, brushed metal, and metallic appearances can be combined with traditional ink graphics to provide premium looks in a simple and flexible format.

Over Molding

Clear over-molded in-mold decorating is a great way to obtain a high quality, premium appearance for interfaces, bezels, and displays. Add depth to graphics or incorporate capacitive touch for a consumer-friendly and high-end product.

Formed Appliques

Utilizing experience in both printing and forming, Inno-Flex delivers 3D formed and precision cut appliques that have a unique scratch resistant coating not traditionally obtained with formed parts.

Thermoplastic Elastomers TPE

Inno-Flex provides many options for in-mold decorating thermoplastic elastomers such as TPO, TPU, and TPE. Utilizing a soft touch in-mold decorating applique, Inno-Flex can provide the same rubberized feel as a pad printed rubberized button with increased durability.

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Service that doesn't stop at the factory

Integrated

We understand that no component works alone. We work with your other manufacturers to make sure production is seamless, even after the product leaves our factory.

Highly-Detailed

We have an arsenal of state-of-the-art equipment, including optically registered printing equipment, multiple forming technologies and testing facilities that ensure your component comes out the way you asked.

Custom

We’ve pioneered several processes that are now industry standard. No matter what you need your in-mold decoration to do, we can adapt our approach and manufacturing to make it happen.

Our Process in Action

In an effort to go above and beyond for one of our clients, we met their challenge with an industry first, low cost product that we’re still manufacturing years later.