The In-Mold Decorating Association’s (IMDA) annual Awards recognize the industry’s best in-mold labeled (IML) packaging and in-mold decorated durable products. Winning entries are selected on the basis of creativity in design, engineering and innovation, and this year the award for Best Part Design went – for the second year running – to Ropak Packaging for its patented 2-liter EZ Stor® package with hinged cover for Redpath Sugar (left).
Ropak’s previous IMDA Awards successes include the ‘On The Border Margarita Mix’ package with Diamond Weave Technology™ for Best Part Design in 2010, along with an Honorable Mention for the ‘Preen Garden Weed Preventer’ package, recognized as the largest non-round IML label in 2008.
Attractive, functional and unique, Ropak’s 2-liter EZ Stor® package with tamper-evident hinged cover, offers reusable storage and easy dispensing of product over time – while maximizing billboard area with photo-quality IML. The rectangular shape provides levels of space efficiency and product differentiation unavailable with traditional packaging. The package maximizes shelf density in retail stores and is easily stored in the consumer’s home.
The IMDA draws its membership from molders, printers, material suppliers and equipment manufacturers committed to the development and growth of in-mold decorating products, technologies and markets. The association enhances and supports businesses by raising levels of awareness and acceptance of in-mold decorated durable products and packaging by OEMs, end-users and marketers. The IMDA serves businesses by integrating the interests of the entire IML supply chain through its promotional and educational programs.
IML is a process of labeling or decorating a plastic object while the object is being formed in the mold. A label is placed in the open mold and held in the desired position by vacuum ports, electrostatic attraction or other means. The mold then closes and molten plastic resin is injected, conforming to the shape of the object. The hot plastic envelopes the label, making it an integral part of the object itself. The difference between glue-applied labels and in-mold labels is that the former are simply stuck on the surface of the plastic object, while the latter are embedded in the wall of the object.
IML is currently available on Ropak’s containers ranging in size from 1-liter to 5.3-gallons. In response to increasing market demand Ropak is rapidly expanding its IML decoration capabilities to include a multitude of different shapes and sizes for both the US and Canadian markets.
Past Ropak IMDA Award Winners:
Left: Ropak’s 1-gallon Round container with Diamond Weave Technology™ – 2010 Best Part Design
Right: Ropak’s 3.7-gallon EZ Stor® with Hinged Cover – 2008 Honorable Mention
Ropak's patent-pending Diamond Weave Technology™, such as that incorporated into Truco Enterprises’ frozen drink mix containers (see photo above left), resulted in a 33% source reduction and 38% lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared with Truco’s previous container. The diamond lattice structure on the container’s internal surface adds structural strength so that top-load performance is maintained after the container is significantly lightweighted. The design also features a lid with a channel for dipping the edge of margarita glasses in salt, along with laser-engraved creative branding on the lid, improved IML graphics for enhanced shelf appeal, and better access to the cover for consumer convenience.
In 2008, the label on this Ropak 3.7-gallon EZ Stor container with hinged lid (see photo above right) was the largest known non-round IML produced or used in North America. Because of its large size, several technical challenges had to be overcome to make the project a success.