Focus: Plastic Bottle Surface Screen Printing OR In-Mold Labeling (1)

External viewing, plastic bottle surface screen printing and in-mold labeling are common and all belong to the “no-tag” solution. The corners of the label are not visible on the bottle surface and cater to the consumer-purchased packaging grade. From a technical point of view, although the two technologies and processes are quite different, they all no longer require machine labeling or manual labeling processes. From the perspective of packaging style, the vivid color blocks are matched with flat screens and highly readable texts, making surface printing a representative of simple packaging styles. In contrast, in-mold labels, delicate pictures, rich layers, and beautiful colors. Of course, the investment threshold for curved screen printing is low, and the poor can also play around. The in-mold label belongs to the rich's game, and there seems to be a clear boundary between the two. In short, the two distinctive solutions have formed a beautiful landscape in the plastic bottle packaging printing market.

This article from the plastic bottle surface screen printing and in-mold labeling two perspectives, multi-faceted coverage of these two "no-tag feeling" solution, while listening to the voice from the end user, correctly guide the domestic manufacturers and end users to choose their own s solution.

A characteristic and application

Plastic bottle surface screen printing characteristics and application

1. Printed graphics are durable

As long as the plastic bottle is properly printed, the graphic can be retained for a long time, generally longer than the durability of the label. Not because of changes in the environment temperature and humidity caused by graphic damage, affecting the appearance.

2. Strong visual impact

There are many kinds of screen printing inks. Bright, matt, fluorescent, UV inks, etc. are printed on plastic bottles and can have rich effects. Using UV ink for printing, the printed mark after curing is clear, there is a certain degree of gloss, texture is strong, and the text description is clear at a glance. The screen printing ink layer is thick and thick, and the printing artwork is very conspicuous, and it is easy to attract consumers' eyes when placed on the shelf.

3. Leading simple and fashionable

In the case of plastic bottle surface screen printing, if the bottle is cylindrical, there is a certain degree of difficulty in four-color registration due to the lack of a positioning reference. If the original is a combination of several monochromatic patterns and texts, the print registration is not as demanding, and the use of curved screen printing is more appropriate. In general, curved screen printing is suitable for printing manuscripts with a small number of lines, lines, and details. Packaging designers are using surface printing to interpret the minimalist style to consumers.

4. Flexible production

After the plastic container processing factory configures the curved screen printing production line, it can realize the production of bottle forming and printing lines. The ability to properly arrange operations based on customer's order requirements will not delay the delivery of the customer without being constrained by the delivery of purchased printed labels. In addition, the replacement of the product is very convenient. For plastic bottles with a small number of prints, the plate can be quickly replaced and the delivery time can be shortened.

Due to the above characteristics of curved screen printing, it has always occupied an important position in the packaging of plastic bottles. With the popularity of PET bottles, captions and logos directly printed on transparent bottles have become fashionable. Now, there is no PET in-mold labeling bottle on the market, so the importance of curved screen printing is self-evident. In the eyes of end users such as cosmetics, daily chemical products, pharmaceuticals, food, and industrial products, curved screen printing is considered to be a distinctive packaging printing solution.

The characteristics and application of in-mold labeling

1. Anti-counterfeiting

In the interview, the most frequently heard by reporters was the security. This is one of the main reasons for adopting in-mold labeling.

Jinan Wellin Technology Co., Ltd. is a supplier of in-mold labeling robots. Mr. Zhang Zhongjun, the company, said that security is the main reason why end customers choose in-mold labeling. First of all, in-mold labels can use some anti-counterfeiting technologies in the printing process, such as laser holographic technology and anti-counterfeiting printing technology, to increase the anti-counterfeit value of the labels in the mold. Secondly, from the perspective of equipment investment, counterfeiters need to invest in hollow blow molding machines and in-mold labeling machines if they want to create counterfeits. If the blow molding machines use domestically-made equipment, at least a dozen yuan more, while importing blow molding machines For the expensive, up to seven or eighty million yuan. In addition, the structural design, materials, label printing, and production processes of the mold are closely coordinated, which has many influencing factors and increases the difficulty of counterfeiting.

Guangdong Xinjin Trademark Printing Co., Ltd. undertakes a variety of label printing business, and the in-mold label of “Lengzhuang” shampoo is printed by the company. The general manager of the company, Chen Jiandong, said that customers chose the in-mold labeling solution mainly because of their security. Due to the high cost of bottle blowing and in-mold labeling equipment (in-mold labeling robots), a high threshold is set for counterfeiters.

2. Rich in details and levels

The printing effect of the in-mold label is similar to that of a self-adhesive label, and the printing color is even up to 12 colors, which is suitable for reproducing originals with exquisite pictures and rich levels.

Guangzhou Standard New Technology Development Co., Ltd. is a supplier of in-mold labeling robots. The general manager of the company, Chen, believes that in terms of printing effects, in-mold labels are superior to plastic bottle surface screen printing. Compared with sticker printing, it is no less.

General Manager Chen Jiandong holds a similar view. He believes that for manuscripts with rich details and hierarchies, such as avatars, it is more appropriate to use in-mold labels. In addition, multi-color printing is not the advantage of surface printing, but in-mold labels can show their abilities in the field of multi-color printing.

3. Beautiful and generous

Since the in-mold label is molded together with the plastic bottle, there is no occurrence of drop marks, tilts, and bulges. In addition, environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and dust do not affect the appearance of in-mold labels and plastic bottles.

Chen, general manager of S&T Technologies, often deals with end users and understands their mentality. He said that the appearance quality of plastic bottles is one of the main reasons why end-users prefer in-mold labels. After a paper label is labelled and placed for a period of time, due to changes in the temperature and humidity of the environment, it may be convex and discolored. In particular, curved edges and corners are also prone to occur, which seriously affects the product image. The daily chemical products using the in-mold label, the label and the plastic bottle are integrated, the surface is smooth, and the hand feels excellent, which obviously improves the product quality.

Mr. Zhang Zhongjun very much appreciates the resistance of the in-mold labels. He believes that in-mold labels will not be subject to label shedding and protrusion due to changes in environmental conditions, whether in the snow-covered northern country or the southern part of the hot sun. The resistance is excellent. In addition, dust, oil, etc. in the environment will not affect the packaging quality of in-mold labeling plastic bottles.

4. Meet the green packaging trend

If the in-mold label is the same as the plastic bottle, it can be recovered after crushing. Compared with the self-adhesive label, the process of cleaning the label and removing the residual adhesive is eliminated; if the color of the plastic bottle is dark, for example, red, gray , Blue, etc., the ink printed on the in-mold labels can not be removed when recycling, so the recycling is convenient and the cost is low, which accords with the trend of green packaging.

5. Reduce secondary pollution of food and pharmaceutical packaging

In China, in-mold labeling has expanded from lubricating oil and daily chemical industries to the food and pharmaceutical industries after a short period of four years.

According to Mr. Zhang Zhongjun, this is mainly due to the fact that the plastic bottle and the label are molded together. The entire process is automated and the secondary pollution caused by the self-adhesive labeling on the bottle is greatly reduced. The perfect combination of safety and high efficiency makes in-mold labeling bottles stand out in the food and pharmaceutical packaging industry. Now Mengniu Yogurt, Nestle Ice Cream and Beijing's Gantry Rice Vinegar packaging have taken the lead in adopting in-mold labeling.

The above advantages of the in-mold label make it widely used in the domestic market.

Although it has not been a long time to enter the Chinese in-male label market, the French company Praia has already had a number of fixed customers. 90% of Praia's in-mold labels are made of PE. Now most of the in-mold labeling bottles are PE bottles. Once the labels do not meet the quality requirements, they can be crushed and then blow molded. Mr. Luo Bingye, Sales Director of Asia Pacific Region of Praia, France, said that high-end and middle-grade daily goods particularly favor in-mold labeling, and even Beijing can see labeling bottles stamped on the in-mold labels.

Chen, general manager of the new technology, gave a list of those familiar mid-to-high-end cosmetic brands, such as Fengcai, Opal, Oni, Kao, Liangzhuang, Baima, and Lvyuan. These end-users mainly consider upgrading their products. And enhance security features. Lubricants are also important end-users for in-mold labels, such as China Great Wall and Kunlun Lubricants. There are also several in-mold labels in the food industry, such as Longmen Rice Vinegar in Beijing. According to Chen, Sinopec will also use in-mold labeling bottles.

Overall, the application of in-mold labels in the domestic market is concentrated in the lubricants, chemical products, pharmaceuticals, and food industries. They generally use plastic bottles made of PE or PP. In the high-end cosmetics market, the use of in-mold labels has not yet been seen. This is mainly due to the small size of cosmetic bottles and difficulties in mold making. In-mold labeling robots are inconvenient for labeling, and more importantly, cosmetics packaging is favored. Transparent PET bottles, ideal for curved screen printing.

(to be continued)

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