In Mold Decorating (IMD)
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In mold decorating, or IMD, is a plastic injection molding process that gives product designers and OEMs an alternative method by which to decorate their plastic products. In IMD, a decorated thin plastic film is inserted into an injection mold, with the plastic material then injected either behind or on top of the film. When the molding process is complete, the end part is “decorated” with the graphics embedded into the plastic. Prior to the development of in mold decorating, plastic parts were decorated in a number of ways: labels or stickers, spray, pad, or screen printing, laser etching, etc. These options tend to wear off over time, and the application processes required are highly inefficient. With IMD, the graphics become a permanent part of the product that will not peel away or rub off. IMD also helps reduce production times by eliminating the need for post-production decorating.