IML Technology (In-Mold-Labelling) for Food and Non-Food Applications

Biocompatible PLA meets In-Mold Labelling (IML)

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Biocompatible PLA meets In-Mold Labelling (IML)


  • Innovative IML-Concept: Beck Automation presents four-cavity IML machine for PLA coffee capsules
  • North and South American Premiere of a high-performance Single Serve Capsule IML machine on NPE 2018 in Orlando
  • New approach: Visually appealing packaging with IML gets biocompatible
  • Ultra-lightweight parts in injection molding:

IML meets environmentally friendly PLA

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Fresh coffee straight out of a coffee capsule has been one of the most popular ways to make a good cup of coffee for years. The classic disposable coffee capsule’s job is actually quite varied: the coffee aroma has to completely develop even though the capsules have a long shelf life. The capsule has to convey the feeling of lifestyle and luxury you get from enjoying a good cup of coffee. It should also ensure brand recognition and provide information about the contents. Once used, the packaging should be disposed of easily while demonstrating that it is environment-friendly, both during manufacture and when in use.

The brilliant print quality of the In-Mold labelling not only serves to effectively staging the product, but also has a concrete boost in sales: the customer can get an accurate picture of the content. Especially in the sensitive food industry, this fact can decide whether a product is purchased or left on the shelf. What might seem straightforward at first glance is becoming increasingly difficult to communicate to consumers – a good example of this is conventional aluminium capsules. The environmental awareness of consumers has noticeably been on the increase in recent years. A Polylactide (PLA) injection molding solution with IML decoration could be just the right answer. This saves resources and gives the packaging a premium look. Nick Lewis, Beck Automation Americas: “Visually appealing packaging with IML gets biocompatible.”

Biocompatible Strength of PLA material

IML, when combined with environmentally friendly PLA material, a synthetic polymer, offers a new way to reposition disposable coffee capsules and to enhance the appearance of the product. PLA is obtained from renewable sources, such as corn starch. This makes PLA a biocompatible raw material. This approach is also a contribution to better achieve the sustainability goal of the providers. The sweetish smell is more reminiscent of the cornstarch contained in it than molten plastic. Low moisture absorption ensures easier storage and high UV resistance, as well as severe flammability are practical properties for a variety of applications. In general, PLA has mechanically good properties such as high surface hardness, rigidity, and high modulus of elasticity (tensile strength), but only moderate impact resistance.


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