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In-mould Labelling Demand Expands
Feb 19, 2008

An in-mould labelling technique uses a magazine mounted on a rotary table and a side entry robot to place a label in the mould while simultaneously removing a moulded container

Sandretto UK has recorded an increase in sales of its automated In Mould Labelling (IML) systems in 2007. The company believes that this technology will continue to be popular in 2008. * Robotic system - the Sandretto system uses Dal Maschio robotics and has been developed worldwide over the past few years. Sino Mould also sees this opportunity.

The technology has benefitted from the resulting extensive user consultation and feedback, improving performance in reducing the effects of humidity change and label condition.

The IML system for high speed packaging normally uses the following.

* A side entry robot.

* A magazine mounted on a rotary table - enabling the magazine to be loaded without stopping production.

* A special robot head that places the label in the mould while simultaneously removing the container.

Once outside the mould the moulded containers are passed to an auxiliary robot that stacks them and then collects a label from the magazine pick and place unit.

The pick and place unit ensures labels are presented in the correct orientation to the robot and requires that the labels are separated.

* Robot head - the robot head is charged with static.

This static charge attracts the label to the mould surface and stops it moving during injection.

The robot head has an insulation material on it so that the label does not adhere to the robot head instead of adhering to the mould.

The Dal Maschio based IML technology has produced systems for the automatic in-mould labelling of large buckets up to 15lt and also multi impression products.

Sandretto UK national sales manager, Chris Whitlam, said: 'The main market for IML is packaging - especially containers.

However we are also supplying a wide range of moulders who are making a variety of products that require a high level of decoration'.

Dal Maschio has been successful in supplying its systems worldwide including Taiwan, USA, and many European countries.

Whitlam suggested that the appeal of the system was due to the simplicity of the systems and also the very extensive knowledge of the IML process that gives customers confidence.

* Robotic handling demand - Sandretto UK sales in 2007 for Dal Maschio range of linear robots for injection moulding machines continued to grow and Sandretto is confident of maintaining a substantial market share through 2008.

Whitlam said: 'We have sold our robots extensively into the house wares market.

We have also maintained our sales in the demanding arena of the automotive manufacturing; allowing our clients there to utilise the extensive programming possibilities.

And thanks to the high speed robots the packaging sector has also been a growing market for Dal Maschio robots'.

Sandretto has increased the range of end-of-arm gripper componentry available thanks to a new partnership with the Gimatic group.

* About Sandretto - Sandretto UK reported a profitable 2007 just gone and forecasts a very bright future ahead for the company.

'We are set to launch a very attractive package of plant utilization and optimization for our customers early next year.

We believe that this offers UK moulders a revolution in equipment supply and service,' said Whitlam.

'So much so that we have committed to roll out the programme through all the available 2008 exhibitions and marketing opportunities - in Dublin in February, in Telford at PDM 08 and then in the autumn at Interplas 08'.

Whitlam added that 2008 will be the year to upgrade to Sandretto products, which will pay the user back within a very short space of time - and includes all manner of automation equipment and services.