Industramark, a Standard Register business unit based in Dayton, OH, USA, introduced a photo-realistic in-mold labeling system for rotational molding at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Association of Rotational Molders International in Montreal, QC, Canada. Called Grafilm Roto, the labeling system was developed to address the needs of manufacturers who produce large plastic products, such as storage tanks, kayaks and children’s playground equipment.
“This will be a dramatic and positive change for the industry,” says Tom Furey, president of Industramark. “The Grafilm Roto label provides rotational molders with a superior graphics capability which will pave the way for more aesthetically pleasing and decorative products. Current rotational in-mold products allow only for simple, spot color labeling.”
According to Jeff Denton, product manager for the proprietary Grafilm Roto, the new label poses none of the hassles or special handling associated with current labeling technologies. It can be easily peeled from its backing and applied directly to the inside of the mold. If misaligned, the molder can remove and re-apply it. The unique combination of adhesive and film eliminates ink picking and reduces scrap rates. Moreover, the label can be applied at higher temperatures than existing products, which can result in a 10-20 percent improvement in cycle time, he says.
Until now, the primary in-mold decorating option for rotational molders has been a subsurface graphic transfer, a delicate material than can be nicked or torn. Label application requires the molder to first spray the mold with adhesive and then align the label correctly within the mold. “It’s a process that is both messy and exacting, resulting in high scrap rates and extensive clean-up,” Denton observes.
The Grafilm Roto label builds on the in-mold labeling technologies acquired by Standard Register from Fusion Graphics in June 2010.