In mould decorating and labelling was heavily on display at the Brau Beviale 2011 fair in Nuremburg, Germany, in November, when several innovations picked up gongs at the German packaging awards.
RPC Superfos won an award for its EasyDose container for household products, which can be decorated with in-mould labelling. The selling point of the EasyDose is an integrated multi-dosing system that makes sure the exact quantity of product comes out every time the container is used.
RPC Superfos also entered the SuperLock, a type of food packaging which combines an oxygen barrier and membrane seal. In-mould labelling of the SuperLock offers "an outstanding graphic quality on all surfaces rendering a razor sharp print", says the company.
Other IML award winners included a beer crate, a jug and a tub.
The beer crate from Delbrouk has a circular in-mould label, applied by an injection moulding process. The process is very fast and means the entire surface of the crate can be used for printing, offering new possibilities for branding, says the company.
"So far brand names could only be placed on the straight walls of the bottle crates," says the firm. "Now brand names can be printed over the edge, diagonally, uprightly and so forth."
The in-mould PP labelled Livio jug from Spies and Homann Feinkost also won an award at Brau Beviale. The jury praised the jug's 'unique' shape, meaning its contents can either be dispensed via the spout or, because of the large opening, with ladles.
Finally, Unilever won an award for a 3D IML margarine tub, designed by Veriplast. The company says gas-filled cavities between the tub and the in-mould label provide a soft-touch effect and can be used for more complex surface structures, even Braille writing.