Jun 07/23

What Is In-Mold Decoration in the Automotive Industry?

in mold decoration


With an average vehicle having around 30,000 parts and taking about 18-35 hours to put together, it is no wonder production speed is of the essence. This is why in-mold decoration has become popular for producing beautiful automobiles in record time. Although what is IMD and how can it help your vehicle production process?

We can help you understand what this process is and what it can do to help you make better products, faster. Below, you will find a list of the many benefits of IMD as well as how you can get it for yourself.

What Is IMD?

In the past, people often applied decorations to items after the object came off the end of the production line. This meant a whole separate process, often demanding the use of paint or adhesives to add a pattern to an item.

In-mold decorating (IMD) is a process that occurs during a production line for a variety of components. The end result of IMD is the creation of an item that has decorative aspects “baked in” when it comes off the line.

It involves creating a special mold that not only has space for the material to form but also an area for a decoration to sit. This decoration often comprises a thin film. As such, when the manufacturer injects the liquid material into the mold, this film applies itself to the outside of the molded item.

Benefits of In-Mold Decorating

Compared to more traditional methods of decorating, in-mold decorating can offer many improvements. By understanding these, you can have a good idea of what you can expect your output to look like.

Decorating Parts with Complex Geometry

If you are working with a complicated piece of equipment, sometimes the shape of it precludes traditional decoration. It would usually need you to hand-apply, or even hand-paint, a surface.

With in-mold decorating, you can create a mold with the IMD pattern setup as part of the mold. Thus, you have the ability to make any sort of pattern and place it on the component without any extra steps needed.

Better Damage Resistance

The process of creating in-mold decorations means the pattern is much less likely to succumb to harm. In an applied vinyl or paint, someone could remove it by pulling or scratching at it. With IMD, the decoration integrates with the final product in a more robust manner.

More Sustainable Methods

Because IMD does not use traditional adhesives, you no longer need to discard as much material. Many of these are often harmful to the local environment, too. So, using IMD will make it all the easier to adhere to local regulations related to reducing waste.

Lighter Components

With some automotive parts, reducing the weight of the component is key to success. This is most often the case in professional racing, where every gram of material counts.

IMD reduces the need for additional layers of paint or decals. This means you can expect the item to be a little lighter than other options.

How Can You Achieve In-Mold Decoration?

This article should have given you everything you need to know whether in-mold decoration is perfect for you. Still, you need to work with people who know how to do it and have the equipment available. We are happy to step up to the plate here.

We have been working in this industry for years and have specialists who can discuss the finer details of IMD with you. So, give us a call today and let us know what you need.