IMD·IML

Overview

Implementation of sophisticated graphics and functions on
resin products with complex 3D geometries.
Attracts interests from designers around the world.

Nissha Group's IMD and IML systems drive it's technology to reproduce the products with unique touch, feel, and texture beyond mere decoration. The film, onto which the desired design has been printed, is inserted into the mold. Resin is introduced to the mold and the design transfers onto the component, while it is being molded. This revolutionary system enables the implementation of sophisticated graphics on resin products with complex 3D geometries.
IMD and IML have become one of the main methods for plastic decoration in the world, in place of traditional methods such as painting, silk-screen printing and pad printing. IMD and IML is now widely known as the only method which can meet designers' high level demands for beauty. Nissha Group will continue to decorate various consumer products for the world in a more diversified and beautiful manner.

*IMD and IML are registered trademark or a trademark of Nissha Co., Ltd..
*IMD is a technology for performing simultaneous decoration using a transfer foil using a transfer foil inside an injection mold thus it is known as "In-mold decoration" in short.

Automotive interior

Automotive Interior

"Electric Toothbrush (Doltz)" "Shaver (3 Blades)"     Panasonic Corporation Products

Applications

Automotive interior and exterior parts, Consumer electronics, Housing equipment, Cosmetics and Stationery, etc.

    

Key Features

  • Considerable cost benefit for mass production.
  • As the process for molding and decoration occur simultaneously, there is significant savings in floor space and processing time.
  • Since the ink layer is thin, VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are not only significantly reduced, but reductions in wastes and the efficient utilization of energy also become possible due to excellent yields.
  • Since the process occurs in clean environment, there is no risk of environmental contamination by organic solvents, etc.
  • The system can reproduce a metallic effect, the luster of pearl, gloss, matte, wood grain, piano black, surface texture and other various artistic expressions,with high-precision positioning accuracy.
  • Complex 3D geometries can be decorated with high-quality.
  • The surface is protected by superior scratch-resistant hard coating technology.

Construction methods line-up

There are 3 kinds of construction methods, Type-TR, Type-S and IML(IMD Type-P). Nissha Group will propose the most suitable construction method to realize a superior design and function that matches the material, shape, size, etc., of the customer's product parts.

>For more detail, please check the catalog (click here)

IMD (Type-TR)

Only the design printed on the film is transferred to the resin surface at the time of molding and the film is taken out.
By performing the decoration at the same time as the molding, the production cost can be reduced. It is a construction method that can achieve both a low cost and a high-quality design through aligned decoration.
  • High precision alignment is possible
  • Trimming of film margin is not required before and after molding
  • A combination of multiple designs such as wood grain, metallic, geometric patterns, etc., can be reproduced on the same surface

Molding Process

IMD (Type-S)

Type-S is a sytem that can handle highly constricted shapes among the construction methods. By thickening the film, greater constriction can be achieved and a vivid design can be decorated on plastic products with more complex 3D shapes.
A design film softened by heating is lined up on the inside of a mold, injection molding takes place, and any annecessary parts are trimmed after that.
  • A sharp pattern with almost no distortion can be decorated for highly constricted shapes.
  • Using an acrylic film outer layer, a high-quality exterior with a sense of depth and excellent physical properties can be achieved.
  • Energy-saving system in which the process is automated and shortened.

IMD Type-S

IML (IMD Type-P)

IML (IMD Type-P) is a system that can handle the thickest films. It is the construction method in which a printed sheet is pre-formed and then a rough-cut film is inserted inside the injection mode. This method is most suitable for decorating complex shapes. Furthermore, a high-quality exterior with a sense of depth and excellent physical properties (non-glossy treatment is also possible) can be achieved.
This is a pre-form process whereby a design film softened by heating is lined up on the inside of a forming die. Any unnecessary parts will be trimmed. Resin is introduced to the mold and the film integrates with the component while it is being molded.

Introduction movie of the manufacturing process

This is a short movie in which the manufacturing process for IMD molding.

Turn Key System

Nissha Group supplies a convenient "Turn Key Solution" which, allows for immediate use by customers. All the processes from the design of various molded parts to mass production are controlled by Nissha Group. Nissha Group offers an optimal process selection and system to assist customers, while taking on secondary tasks of communications and operations within each enterprise. Customers can therefore monitor the processes after making an order to Nissha Group, which facilitates follow-ups to production planning. Of course, Nissha Group itself can supply products as a molding manufacturer and also is ready for supplying discrete products such as IMD foils, molds, and foil feeding units. Products are supplied in order to provide maximum advantage to the customer's production.

IMD molding

IMD foil

Printing is performed by a gravure printing method. A hard coat layer (functional layer) and color layers (graphic layer) are printed onto the film. Generally up to 6 or 7 colors are used. Using "pro" printing technology allows for the use of colors exceeding the number above.

It is also possible to produce a metal foil by depositing a thin layer of metal on a base film by the vacuum deposition method. This world leading technology enables us to deposit the metal substance onto the roll form of film as long as 1,000 m in a few hours.

The technology of this vacuum deposition method has received attention from industrial designers around the world, as a means for reproducing high-level designs.

Trend Meets Technology--
Where trends of the world meet, with Nissha Group's technology. This is IMD.

IMD mold

IMD mold

IMD absolutely requires high-precision molds for plastic molding. It is the high-dimensional compatibility between the IMD foil for design reproduction, and the IMD mold for resin insertion that enables the emergence of products eagerly desired by global designers.

Nissha Group makes possible the decoration of various 3D shapes through the accumulation of mold production technology in Japan, which leads the way in mold technology. Nissha Group's mold processing technology continues to lead the industry with super fine-end finishing technology used in LCD windows of mobile phones and optical products.

<Mold production and supply areas>
Production areas: Japan, China
Supply areas: Whole world

Foil feeder

Foil feeder

A foil feeder is designed to feed IMD foil into the mold. Nissha Group has a lineup of products ranging from 200-mm-wide to 650-mm-wide.

More than 3,000 foil feeders are currently playing an active role around the world, decorating various plastic products.

Molding technology

Molding technology

 IMD molding requires an expertise which conventional molding technology (plastic molding technology that does not perform decoration) does not have.

By employing full-use of know-how and optimizing the melting temperature of plastic, injection speed and other parameters, industrial products of a higher color and design standard can be molded. Reliable molding technology is required to make possible the shift of manual procedures, conventionally realized only by craftsmen, to mass production.

<Nissha Group's services related to molding>
・Technological and quality control guidance for molding manufacturers
・Nissha Group's supply of molded parts serving as a molding manufacturer

Derivative Technology

2Shot-IMD

Technology Highlights

There are demands for mobile devices such as smartphones (high-performance mobile devices) to become slimmer and lighter. For this reason, the issue for the external parts is how well the designs required by the customers can be reproduced on the limited space.
2Shot-IMD is a technology which imparts a sense of depth and three-dimensionality in that limited space using two-sided decoration.
Also, we were asked by customers whether it could be possible to do simultaneous molding of back-surface formation (hooks, etc.) at the same time as 2Shot-IMD, to make it into a single part. To realize this, we developed new technologies combining 2-color molding technologies.
This maintains the design whilst achieving process step reductions and lower costs.

Key Features

A premium housing with a sense of three-dimensionality is created by adding decoration to the surface of 2-color molded items and to the intermediate layer held in between layers of resin.

Applications

Mobile devices (smartphones and other mobile phones, MP3 players, PCs, etc.), home appliances, cosmetics, etc.

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