IMT (Inner Molding Translate label) or (Insert Molding Three-dimensional) is a synthesis and extension of in-mold injection molding technology and in-mold transfer printing technology.
It brings together the advantages of a variety of decoration processes: it adopts the advantages of the IML process in the production of the film, absorbs the advantages of the IMR process, and combines the digital printing and offset printing effects with the traditional screen printing process, which makes it highly adjustable and widely applicable, and makes up for the limitations of traditional exterior decoration technology and meets the high-level innovation requirements of product exterior decoration. The 3D effect and product stretching meet the in-mold decoration process of more products.
The advent of the IMT technology process will replace oil spraying, UV overprinting, electroplating, vacuum color plating, silk screen printing, pad printing, transfer printing, and other processes, and will drive leapfrog innovation in the product appearance industry. It has realized three-dimensionality, color gradients, R angles, and other irregular product appearance decoration effects. It has also provided better innovation and realization platform for the exterior design industry.
Plastics Are Reborn In 5G Era
The 5G era is coming, and the mobile phone housing materials will change from plastic to metal and then back to non-metallic materials. Plastics are favored by the low-end market because of their low cost. But now the new IMT process has made plastic the favorite choice of many CMF designers. We cannot evaluate the specific cost of the back cover material alone but should integrate it with the middle frame as a whole to position the price of the product. There are several types, from low-end to high-end mainly including plastic + metal middle frame, 2.5D glass + metal middle frame, 3D glass (ceramic) + metal middle frame.
IMT High Pressure Forming Machine
The IMT high-pressure forming machine is a brand-new numerical control device. It is written by configuration software and uses a high-color touch screen as a carrier to form a friendly human-machine dialogue window, which greatly facilitates users’ visual input and use of production parameters and direct monitoring of on-site production process data including equipment status, forming integrated equipment of oil pressure, position, air pressure, and IR hot pressing.
IMT Technology Application
The name of the traditional IMT process appeared in China back in 2006. In fact, it is similar to the IMR process in Japan. The process at that time was equivalent to the PET carrier of the IML process after its color is removed and left in the plastic part. The radian of products was then not large(2D), and the appearance is not varied enough; basically there were only silkscreen and color layers, very few metallic colors.
The new IMT technology is combined with the most popular 3D optical texture + PVD decoration method. Products processed by this new technology have a more beautiful appearance and larger radian compared with products processed by traditional method. Currently, the new IMT technology has evolved from 3D optical texture + PVD to double 3D optical texture +PVD.
For mobile phone housing made of plastic + metal middle frame, it is the amount of metal CNC processing that determines the price of the whole housing. Compared with the high-pressure composite plate which was very popular last year, the IMT back cover can not only serve as a decorative part, but also a part of the structural part as well, and so as to reduce the processing time of the middle frame. Therefore, it is quite competitive in the 5G era.