Plastic Injection Molding Dec 10, 2012

Film Insert Molding – Designer’s Dream Comes with Challenges for Manufacturers

Film insert molding, or in-mold decoration as it’s sometimes called, is a process that can be used for almost any industry that requires plastic injection molding.
The process behind film insert molding seems simple enough—take a decorated film, cut it to the shape you want, and then insert it into an injection mold and over-mold to create a scratch-resistant, durable component. The reality, however, can be a little more complicated.
Film insert molding is popular for a wide range of industries. The process is often used for components that experience high usage or require safeguarding against UV damage, surface scratching, or other component wear and tear including the in mold decoration of automobiles, Aerospace interiors, medical devices and even toys or other electronic devices.
Film insert molding offers options that would otherwise be impossible. Choose from a variety of print colors, or surface patterns; or, use it for a component with complex angles that require printed elements.

What’s more, with film insert molding, a component can have practically exponential uses with interchangeable films that change the overall look of the finished part.
So why don’t more manufacturers offer the process? Unfortunately, the benefits of film insert molding can also go hand in hand with a host of potential headaches. Nearly every aspect of the film insert molding process includes either stretching or thermal induced stressors. The fallout? Wrinkling. Surface defects. Ill-fitting films that are too small for the part cavity. Because of these challenges, it is important to choose an injection molder with the special skills and knowledge required to perform the process successfully.
ALTEK Manufacturing has that experience, and is highly knowledgeable about all the factors that must be considered for film insert molding to produce desired results. Ask us about our film insert molding or any of our other specialty injection molding processes, and find out more about how we can open up new design possibilities for your next project.