Belgium-based Verstraete IML, an in-mold labels company, is preparing construction work for a new production site in Clarksville, Tenn., together with its parent company Constantia Flexibles. The new site will allow Verstraete IML to get closer to its customers in the largest growth market for IML labels outside Europe. The site will begin production in the second half of 2017 and will have multiple printing press and finishing lines. Some 55 jobs will be created. Verstraete IML expects to invest EUR 18 million (USD 20 million) in its new U.S. plant within a period of three years.

In other news, the company won three awards last summer from the IMDA, an association of injection molders, printers and suppliers of materials and machines used for in-mold decorating. The awards were given out at the 2016 IMDA Symposium in June. In the tenth edition of the awards for 2016, Verstraete IML from Maldegem won awards in the following categories: Best Thin Wall Packaging, Best Blow Moulded Package and Best Product Family. As a result, Verstraete IML took home 3 of the 8 awards:

Best Thin Wall Packaging - Gold for Unilever
Unilever's  margarine containers and lids underwent a thorough makeover. They are now made with paper-thin walls which meet the most stringent technical requirements. Unilever switched from direct printing to in-mold labeling. And they changed the shape of the containers from round to rectangular to save valuable space during transportation and on shop shelves. Thanks to the photographic quality of the IML labels and the seven different sizes, the four brands now occupy a unique market position, according to the company. In addition, the re-branding of Unilever's margarine brands proceeded smoothly due to great cooperation between Verstraete IML and the three injection moulders RPC BRAMLAGE-Wiko USA, PSPM and Berry Plastics.

Best Blow Moulded Package - Gold for Taanayel
The Lebanese dairy giant Taanayel Les Fermes, known for its natural, authentic and traditional dairy products, exchanged its glass Balan Baladi packaging for blow molding using IML. The vintage design of the packaging enhances the authentic nature of the product. IML for blow molding is the ideal packaging technology for dairy products, according to the company. The IML labels from Verstraete IML are moisture-proof and can withstand temperature fluctuations. This makes them an ideal solution for decorating synthetic packaging for refrigerated products.

Best Product Family - Silver for Berry Plastics
Berry Plastics’ SelecTE product group is a range of high-quality rectangular, sealed packaging provided with three-sided or five-sided IML labels. Because of the way in which this packaging is decorated, the quality of the food product is clearly visible to the consumer through the transparent sections of the packaging and there is also enough free space to attract consumers with the excellent graphical quality of the label. The entire packaging is 100% recyclable. The container, the lid and the label are all made of polypropylene. The IML label can also be printed on transparent material or in a metallic look to draw greater attention to the brand on the shop shelves.

SOURCE: Verstraete IML