In-mold (IML) Labeling
In-mold Labeling (IML) combines both product and a label. It is widely used for decorating and providing information on a variety of consumer products sold in plastic containers, including food, cosmetics and even flowers.
IMLs are specially designed for embedding into molded plastic parts — blow molding, injection molding or thermoforming — during the molding process and our IML program is specially designed to support IML manufacturers and their customers who use IMLs to display safety-related information on UL Certified products.
In this portion of the Marking and Labeling Systems Recognition program, samples of IMLs are evaluated in accordance with the same safety Standards used to evaluate pressure-sensitive labels, including UL 969, the Standard for Marking and Labeling Systems; Canadian Standards Association (CSA), C22.2 No. 0.15; and many International Electrotechnical Commission- (IEC) based UL Solutions end-product standards that require a marking durability rub test. We evaluate IMLs in combination with generic plastic surfaces, e.g., acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polycarbonate or polypropylene, and one or more molding processes.
To provide label manufacturers and their customers with the broadest recognition based on the tests conducted, labels found suitable for being molded into a particular generic plastic are considered suitable for being molded into any filled or reinforced plastic of the same generic type. Additionally, IMLs found suitable with two or more generic types of plastic can be molded into blends of those plastics without additional testing.
While some end-product manufacturers may produce molded parts in-house, the molding of plastic parts is more commonly accomplished at a separate molding facility. To provide flexibility to end-product manufacturers, we have established guidelines allowing end-product manufacturers to obtain IML parts from the molder of their choice. To do so, the parts must be molded within the prescribed molding process parameters and the molder must provide required traceability documentation.
Why UL Solutions for IML evaluation
Our comprehensive testing, certification, assessment and regulatory compliance services are designed to foster innovation, enhance product and process quality, enable safety and — ultimately — help you meet your business goals.
Our broad capabilities and capacities enable us to help address a wide variety of key business needs that may arise throughout your product development life cycle and deployment phase. Working with one provider allows you to take advantage of cost- and time-saving service bundles, as well as integrated testing and certification plans that can help you to react quickly to changes in suppliers and raw materials, meet deadlines, and achieve your go-to-market plans.