IML / FIM
(In-Mold Labeling /
Film Insert Molding)

Thieme's new industrial digital printing system offers new possibilities for coloured and decorated injection-moulded parts. It meets the same requirements in terms of durability, adhesion or formability as apply in screen printing. The digital printing system's particular benefits comprise improved reproduction of colour gradients and the display of fine writing. Its high flexibility enables a more cost-effective small batch production.

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  • 02/15/2018

    Oliver Beck
    Sales Manager Printing Systems
    Oliver Beck
    Phone +49 (0) 7641 - 5 83-450
    oliver.beck@thieme.eu

The process

Synthetic foils are imprinted on the back, formed, pressed and then injected with an injection-moulding tool.

Printing

The HydroGel Technology which was developed in co-operation with printing colour manufacturer TRITRON combines high printing quality with inexpensive printing costs. In contrast to the traditional digital printing process, in which the printing ink is fixed by UV light, HydroGel uses water-based inks which are fixed drop by drop using a special fluid which was carefully applied beforehand using the inkjet technique. Despite of the fine resolution, the process enables the same high printing speed as the traditional UV process. The ink is processable regardless of process conditions and adheres very well|. If functional properties are required, barrier or guiding layers may also be applied using screen printing. Thieme's standardised machine technology enables ideal conditions for accurate alignment.

IML_digitale_Bedruckung

Forming

First, the foil is printed flat on the back and then formed into its desired three-dimensional shape using high-pressure forming. The HydroGel print layer is temperature-resistant so that even higher temperatures do not pose any problems during this process step. Decorations imprinted via HPF are accurately maintained.

IML-Tiefziehen
Cutting

Now, the desired shape is punched out of the printed, unformed foil.

IML-Beschneiden

Back-injecting

For extra stability, the trimmed foil is injected with liquid plastic.

IML_Hinterspritzen

Areas of application

Typical areas of application of the new digital printing process include foil prints for switches and control panels in cars or household and medical devices. Owing to its high temperature resistance, the technology can also be used in other applications, e.g. in bank card manufacturing which involves high-temperature laminating processes.

Beispiele IML.jpg

Locations

THIEME GmbH & Co. KG
Robert-Bosch-Straße 1
79331 Teningen

Phone +49 (0) 76 41 / 5 83-0
Fax     +49 (0) 76 41 / 5 83-110
info@thieme.eu