Any IML product, either for the food/consumer or industrial markets
The printing methods used for printing IML include flexo, gravure, web offset, sometimes screen or digital printing, while it covers a diverse range of sectors including food, industrial, household, cosmetics, and toys. The in mold labeling process poses specific workflow and data requirements, different to the roll labels industry.
In mould label printing is incorporating several steps in the value chain. To produce in-mold labels, substrates, resin and ink supplies, injection and blow molders, molding machines, and printers and converters need to be aligned. To be able to reap the benefits, means that you need to automate and manage the process, to control the waste and bottlenecks.
On the other hand, printing in mould labels requires fewer finishing steps than other print technologies. Great challenges are presented during die cutting and stacking. Due to this, the complete workflow is driven off the tooling (die) parameters.
Working side by side with some of the well-known IML manufacturers in the industry, Overprint embodies many years of expertise in the IML field incorporating in-depth knowledge of the production process within the system and providing IML oriented features embedded in our modules giving usability and user-friendliness.
A variety of label designs of a similar SKU are printed on the same print run. This process is called ganging. In the IML workflow of Overprint, multiple orders are created as part of a project, which is a bigger set of product orders. A job ticket may contain more than one product, provided the products added to the same order are of the same die-cut design thus the same die-cut plate can be used.
Overprint will intuitively provide suggestions of ganging orders based on the same die-cut design found in different jobs. To add more automation to this functionality, it will also provide outright calculations of the optimum amount of multiplicity (N-up) of the job on the sheet, according to the run length per job, the number of sheets, and quantity of remaining stock. Out of this calculation, an optimum ganging layout may also be derived. This feature is quite beneficial when different product versions are possible (e.g. labels for one product in a variety of flavors), as well as when the jobs are repeatable.
An important aspect of in mould labeling companies is traceability, especially the ones which are active in the food & pharmaceutical sector. This means that all materials, namely raw materials, finished goods, and stock products, need to be backward traceable and monitored for quality control. It is especially important for inks and substrates, which are the main sources that may require backward traceability within IML production. Products can be traced as long as they are managed by LOT numbers, barcodes, and/or RFID tags. Along with product delivery, IML converters may also deliver the equivalent product’s birth certificate which can be issued within Overprint.
A great level of detail is handled in terms of stock management within the Warehouse module. All materials used in production can be logged and tracked in stock, even the recipes on special color inks, the die-cut plates, the CTP plates, and the packing materials. Tracking may be done according to materials’ usage enabling the planning of maintenance or purchasing of new items, i.e. the usage of die-cut plates, flexo plates, or gravure cylinders.
Warehouse management of picking, packing, dispatching, and accounting & logistics processes are streamlined in accordance with production. Overprint provides the tools to automate and manage all warehouse operations, collecting warehouse and production data with the aid of barcode and RFID wireless handheld PDA terminals on the shop floor. An extensive amount of information can be added to a barcode to provide info such as batch, LOT number, job ticket number, the number of labels, the number of carton boxes, etc.
Seamless integration of our MIS solution with ERP systems facilitates the exchange of information between the systems, automates a multitude of processes, and reduces data entry time as well as the possibility of errors. Thus, job execution and operational synergy are maintained within the business organization.
Specifically, the CRM and Cost Estimation tools provide valuable data that facilitate invoicing and accounts receivables. Orders submodule enables precise forecasting of materials inventory levels, reducing inventory stock, and improving the planning of cash flows. By interfacing the Production & Warehouse modules, it is possible to better manage the waste reduction and balance of raw materials and semi-finished products.
Overprint MIS helps you address all the critical challenges throughout the entire production stages of IML – printing, ganging, die-cutting, traceability – so that you can achieve lower production costs, maximum print quality, and shorter lead times.