Sussex IM recently attended the 2021 In-Mold Decorating Association Symposium and SPE Decorating & Coating Division TopCon held in Edina, Minnesota. As part of the conference Jim Naatz, business development at Sussex IM, participated in a panel presentation – “Automation & Robotics for IMD-IML and other Decorating Processes.” Addressing questions and covering topics including: automation, sustainability, manufacturing and in-mold processes.
Naatz was one of three panel experts including Ryan Workman, Muller Technology Co. and Mike Sansoucy, ARBURG that discussed current trends and future applications of in-mold decorating.
When asked about when is it best to IMD/IML automation Jim replied:
“One of the first things that we always take into consideration is the volume,” said Naatz. “What number of parts are you going to be looking at on a yearly basis – the EAU, or estimated annual usage?” Naatz explained that EAU drives cavitation, and cavitation drives the whole process. He also suggested reviewing post-molding operations, such as assembly after molding or after decoration, or whether there are inserts to be installed. “Is there any gating, any trimming?” Naatz continued. “You definitely want to ask that upfront. And what type of customization, what type of flexibility is required?”
Read a full summary of the discussion as published by Plastics Decorating.