In-mold Decorating (IMD) is a process of decorating plastic components or parts during the plastic injection molding cycle. IMD, when combined with the molding process, increases durability, creates design flexibility, and decreases manufacturing cost. IMD is useful on products with high durability and long life span. It is used in toys, appliances, medical devices, lawn and garden equipment, computer components, food packaging cups, instrumental panels, storage containers, plastic housing, telecommunication devices, and automotive components. IMD enhances the products’ aesthetic appeal, provides important safety information to consumers, and increases brand awareness of the products.
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The global In mold Decorating Market can be segmented based on film, end-user, and region. In terms of films, the In mold Decorating market can be categorized into PP, ABS, PC, ABS/PC, ASA, SAN, PMMA, and PBT. Demand for PC films for IMD application is expected to rise significantly as they provide certain benefits such as high light transmission quality, high durability, and superior ink adhesion. Based on end-user, the In mold Decorating market can be divided into automotive, electronic appliances, medical devices, and telecommunications. Demand for IMD in automotive interior components is expected to increase significantly during the forecast period as it offers various advantages such as flexibility in producing 3D images with more color options, cost effectiveness compared to counter-parts, and recyclability.
IMD provides various benefits over traditional methods such as pad printing, pressure sensitive labelling, and direct printing. It offers greater ink opacity and is more economical for greater color options compared to traditional methods. It is more durable and tamper proof and provides enhanced 3D effects with a finer finish compared to counter-parts. IMD provides high quality impressive graphics and high abrasion and chemical resistance.
In addition, it eliminates the need for costly and environmentally unfriendly solvent-based adhesives. It eases the method of applying graphics and labels on plastic component. Furthermore, IMD provides a wide range of colors, textures, effects, and graphics option for decorating labels. It is also capable of providing 3-D, flat, and curved labels for plastic components. All these factors are expected to drive the In mold Decorating market during the forecast period. IMD requires proper mold design and construction for accurate placement and reliability and often employs robotic automation as part of the process for increased speed and accuracy. This involves high investments, which may restrain the market during the forecast period. However, rise in interest for 3-D IMD designs with improved longevity of labels is expected to provide lucrative opportunities to manufacturers during the forecast period.
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In terms of region, the global In mold Decorating Market can be segmented into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is a leading consumer of IMD, due to rise in demand for 3D IMD for automotive interior components applications. North America and Europe are also witnessing significant expansion in the In mold Decorating Market due to increase in demand for improved hard coated polyester films for consumer medical devices. Latin America and Middle East & Africa are comparatively new entrants in the In mold Decorating Market. The expansion of the In mold Decorating Market in these regions is slow due to lack of technology knowledge and heavy reliance on import of plastic raw materials.
Key players operating in the global In mold Decorating Market are Talbot Technologies Ltd, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH, Robotic Automation Systems, EVCO Plastics, and Hy-Tech Forming Systems USA, Inc.