IMD Case Study - 1/8/2009
Situation: A manufacturer of electronic purchasing Kiosks used in high traffic use retail environments needed to improve the overall durability and cosmetic look of their panel used by a national retail chain.
Problem: An original design decision to use glossy, pressure sensitive paper labels on the front of the part proved to be problematic. In use these labels peeled, frayed and wore out fairly quickly. Consequently, this manufacturer was spending time, money and effort replacing bezels to keep their product looking fresh and clean or risk or losing a major account.
"Hand installing labels was time consuming and was responsible for creating a lot more scrapped parts”. Bob G., Reddotnet
In addition, assembly of pressure sensitive labels during the manufacturing process is time consuming and placement of labels is not always accurate. As a result, scrap rates can be significant due to human error factors. Furthermore, the cost of continuous bezel replacement, whether done in the field or internally, was preventing the manufacturer from realizing an appropriate profit. Unfortunately they were forced to maintain this course of business in order to satisfy the customer and in order to break into additional industries they did not currently serve.
"Pressure sensitive labels peel off, whereas IMD's are integrally bonded to the part, and are thus more durable" - Bob G., Reddotnet
Solution: Replace pressure sensitive labels with In Mold Decoration. IMD labels are made of durable, graphically decorated, molded in place “films” that are more robust when compared to pressure sensitive labels, especially in a high traffic retail environment. IMD labels will not peel, fray, wear off, discolor or scratch under normal conditions such as those encountered within the target environment.
"Replacement of panels with damaged labels is virtually eliminated by IMD labels". - Bob G., Reddotnet
Although the existing mold was not designed for insertion of labels via the IMD process it could in this particular case be easily modified to accept the labels. First we needed to modify the mold by adding a relief area into the mold where the label would be placed. This helped keep the IMD label in place during injection of the plastic. Next we had to modify the gates and runner system so that the label would not be damaged by the hot resin entering into the cavity & core area.
"There is greater end customer satisfaction due to a more attractive and professional appearance of the product". - Bob G., Reddotnet
Evaluation: Damaged panels are virtually eliminated by using IMD labels. There is greater customer satisfaction due to the more attractive and professional appearance of the IMD panels. In the process we did not lose the ability to easily change the colors and looks of the label area. This was needed to meet the customer’s changing demands to upgrade & refresh their product as required with minimum cost and/or production impacts.
“Although part cost rose, total program costs were lowered due to less rework, labor and field service costs” Bob G., Reddotnet