The Perfect Metallic Look with In-Mold Labeling Technology

It’s no secret plastic has become one of the most common materials used to create the products we use every day due to its light weight, cost savings, and design flexibility. However, many OEMs often have customers who want their product to maintain the same appearance as a metal part, which is where In-Mold Labeling (IML) experts like Sussex IM are able to help.

Metal vs. Plastic Parts

Depending on the application, plastic is often a preferable material to use compared to metal for most OEMs and tiered manufacturers. The plastic processors at Sussex IM are able to assist OEMs who want to convert their metal parts to plastic while also maintaining the same metallic finish through IML. Our team of in-house experts takes the time to review the product application, consider the different resins and resin fillers that can achieve the required specifications, and then work with the customer throughout the DFM process.

Achieving the Right Look with IML

IML is an integrated decorating technique that bonds the label or decoration with the plastic part during the injection molding process. This method eliminates the need for adhesives or print decorations that can peel or scratch off over time, creating a longer-lasting plastic part.

OEMs who want to maintain a more metallic look for their plastic parts trust Sussex IM to make their product look exactly the way they want it to through IML. Our team utilizes this method to achieve a metallic look using inks and graphics.

Some applications that can utilize metallic IML include:

  • Cosmetic Compacts. The beauty industry likes to focus on beautiful yet lightweight plastic packaging for its products, which can be enhanced with a more metallic appearance.
  • Health & Hygiene Products. Leading brands of automatic hand sanitizer dispensers often utilize metallic IML for their plastic parts.
  • Knobs & Handles. A high-quality metallic finish can enhance the look and feel of plastic knobs, handles, and other hand hardware.

The Process Best Suited for Your Application

No matter what your plastic part may be, Sussex IM has knowledge and expertise in a wide range of materials and label substrates to achieve the right metallic look. We can ensure the decoration requirements best suited for your application are achieved through processes such as:

Hot Stamping (Dry Process)

  • Most cost-effective
  • Achieves the most “metallic”/foil look
  • Durable
  • Silicone die or steel die (for an engraved look)

Heat Transfer (Dry Process)

  • Highly detailed graphics printed on film
  • Full color
  • Durable
  • Silkscreen/digital printing technologies

Pad printing (Wet Process)

  • Great for contoured surfaces
  • Ideal for start-ups
  • Very durable once cured
  • Fastest turnaround time

Customers Trust Sussex IM

Sussex IM is a custom injection molder located in the Midwest with more than four decades of proven turnkey success in the plastics industry. Serving as an imaginative resource for automated assemblies, molding, and decorating, we deliver a competitive advantage to customers with our in-mold labeling expertise and our dynamic problem-solving capabilities. We are driven to hit our customers’ launch window, and our relatable team is dedicated to ensuring your product gets to your end-user every time.

Interested in how you can convert your metal components to plastic while still maintaining a metallic look? Contact Sussex IM today to learn more!