A Swiss global expert in in-mould labeling is now bringing its specialised technology and know-how to the US.
H Müller-Fabrique de Moules SA and sister company CBW Automation in the US, both subsidiaries of Switzerland's Mold & Robotics group have embarked on a knowledge sharing process that will see Müller's expertise in building IML-systems transferred to CBW Automation, ultimately allowing these to be manufactured in North America for the first time.
To that end, a cross-functional team has been established that will coordinate the transfer of the engineering designs, control programs, manufacturing techniques, and optimization processes for these types of systems.
The Mold & Robotics group is the first globally operating industry and technology leader in tool making and automation technology for thin-wall plastic packaging.
Until now, however, IML-systems from Müller have solely been produced at the company's headquarters in Conthey, Switzerland. Unlike Europe, where IML has gained strong penetration in a range of packaging applications, IML technology has been slower to develop in North America.
However, demand for IML systems among processors and end users in North America is growing, as customers increasingly look for domestically produced systems that reduce shipping costs and deliver time-to-market benefits, according to Taras Konowal, CBW Automation's North America director of sales and marketing.
CBW Automation's capability now gives the U.S. market-proven technology which is flexible and highly cost-efficient, he said.
CBW Automation will initially manufacture IML systems that are designed for large 2x12 stack moulds delivering 24 cavities per shot. These systems are for production of injection moulded thin-wall polypropylene (PP) packaging for containers and lids. The technology for smaller cavitation IML systems and take-out robots from Müller to CBW are in the transfer stage but will be completed later this year.
The company has already sold its first IML system, to a U.S.-based moulder of thin-wall packaging. Design and manufacturing are already underway, with delivery scheduled for later this year.