When researching manufacturing solutions for custom parts and products, you may come across in-mold decorating (IMD). It’s commonly used to decorate plastic parts and products. IMD, however, isn’t the same as traditional molding processes. If you’re thinking about ordering IMD parts or products, you might be wondering how this manufacturing process works. Only then will you know if IMD is the right manufacturing process for your business’s needs.

Overview of IMD

IMD is a labeling or decoration process that combines the benefits of PC foil with plastic injection molding. It’s used to create keys, legends, buttons, graphics and other decorations on plastic parts.

Keypads and switches, for instance, often require decorations. Decorations represent the keys and buttons. When using a keypad or switch, you’ll have to check the decorations. To create these decorations, some manufacturers use IMD. IMD isn’t necessarily a molding process. Rather, IMD involves the application of decorations on plastic parts. The plastic parts may be created via molding, after which IMD is used to decorate them.

Benefits of IMD

What are the benefits of IMD exactly? For starters, it supports a variety of textures, colors and finishes. Rather than a smooth texture, you can choose a rough texture. And you’ll have the freedom to choose from several colors and finishes when opting for IMD. With so many different options, IMD allows for a deeper level of customization when ordering plastic parts and products. th

IMD also supports backlighting. Backlighting is used to illuminate plastic parts and products. It’s commonly found in keypads and switches. Backlighting may consist of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that, during use, illuminate the keypad or switch from behind. You can order IMD-decorated keypads and switches with or without backlighting.

Another benefit of IMD is abrasion protection. Products decorated with IMD are very durable. They can withstand heavy use without succumbing to damage like abrasion. Other decorating processes may offer little or no abrasion protection. They can leave products susceptible to damage in the form of scuffs and scrapes. If you’re worried about abrasion, you may want to choose IMD-decorated products.

In Conclusion

IMD is a decoration process for plastic parts and products. It involves the use of a decoration foil that’s applied to plastic parts and products. Some of the benefits of IMD include a variety of options from which to choose, support for backlighting and excellent abrasion protection.