In-Mold Labeling Innovations

StackTeck—always on the cutting edge of technology—continues to innovate with its pilot cell that allows for an early pre-launch simulation of how the production system will run at a later time.


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StackTeck’s first IML pilot cell was set up in 2005, which supported many of the earliest large volume IML projects in North America, according to Marketing Manager Jordan Robertson. It was quickly sold to a U.S customer, and the company built a second in 2007.

Over the course of the three pilot cells built to date, StackTeck has worked jointly with ABB, CBW Automation, Husky, Machines Pages and Netstal—in addition to other leading IML automation providers who sometimes provide mandrels and magazines for specific projects, Jordan says.

Jordan goes on to explain that the current IML Pilot Cell is a dedicated single cavity molding system, including automation for label insertion and part removal and stacking, with the following features:

• Dedicated 330 US Ton Machine

• IML Robotics to handle single cavity molds

• Capable of all label types

Recently the company purchased the automation as a permanent asset to maintain the cell availability for customers on an ongoing basis, in response to a growing demand for IML prototyping. The IML pilot cell minimizes the cost of prototyping IML parts. A molder needs only to purchase molding surface components, a mandrel, and a magazine that are needed for a particular part. The rest of the hardware is already in place at StackTeck—including single cavity mold bases provided by StackTeck that are suitable for most packaging applications.

According to Randy Yakimishyn, President of StackTeck, “We’re taking the initiative to work with leading suppliers to minimize our customers’ upfront costs involved with new IML product development. IML technology offers tremendous added value for injection molded parts, by enabling high quality decoration with a broad range of part design features, such as non-round shapes, tamper resistance, as well as specialty labels. For two past projects, our customers have reported sales volume increases of 12 percent and 23 percent, following the introduction of a new IML package.”