The Sussex Solution Episode 4: In-mold Labeling
On this episode of The Sussex Solution we explore the decoration techniques offered at Sussex IM including pad printing, heat transfer, hot stamping and specifically, in-mold labeling or IML. Manufacturing Engineer, Nick Rohrig, joins us to share the advantages and disadvantages of the various decoration options and how our in-house automation team makes IML decoration possible.
Meet our Robotics and Automation Mastermind Nick Rohrig
Our in-house engineering, automation and robotics teams are the foundation that drives successful design for manufacturing (DFM) for our customers. When it comes to decoration, specifically in-mold labeling (IML) our manufacturing engineers work hard to develop advanced work cells to provide our customers with a customized solution and around-the-clock support. We spoke with Nick, one of our manufacturing engineers, in this month’s episode of The Sussex Solution and he’s sharing more about his role at Sussex below.
How long have you worked at Sussex IM? Did you start in a different position?
I started in January 2012 as a press operator and began working as a stock handler on my second day. The following year I started working for the project engineers as an intern. I began working more and more with the manufacturing engineering team over the next 5 years and was hired as a manufacturing engineer in 2018.
What does your job entail?
- Design and oversee building of new automation.
- Improve/manage all existing secondary equipment.
- Update building drawings and create manufacturing cell layouts.
What do you like most about your job?
Plenty of work and freedom to stay busy. Every day presents new challenges and it’s never the same as the last.
Are there any specific projects you are working on?
- Finishing up standardizing and updating the safety of all our secondary equipment.
- Our first wrap-around IML with ONETUMBLER. We just completed our first round of samples.
- A new IML system for a Chik-Fil-A table marker.
Can you tell us about the evolution of decoration at Sussex?
We started IML in my first year as an intern, so I was really born into the IML era. The transition began, like most things, by purchasing a very expensive cell from a systems integrator. Due to their high prices and strict security on machine information, we decided to begin making these cells ourselves.
We evolved the designs overtime in a few ways.
• Changed to Meech for static generation, which simplified mandrel design and weight greatly as well as, offered more flexibility on static charge location.
• Began making label nests adjustable to fine tune label location.
• Improved label separation with anti-stat air, plastic shims, and soft-press cylinders.
What IML capabilities sets Sussex apart from the rest with IML?
Sussex IM builds all our automation in house which allows for highly customized equipment to be built at a fraction of the cost as well as gives us the ability to make changes and improvements throughout the life of the product.
We have spent the last 10 years experimenting with new ways to improve all aspects of IML. This includes label separation, location, aesthetics, placement, and adhesion.
Favorite part about working at SIM?
The people from top to bottom. I both respect and enjoy working for the people I work for. Also, the people I get to work with are always easy going but goal-oriented making great collaboration an everyday thing.