Last year, Ren-Flex soared to new heights, securing international acclaim at the 2023 In-Mould Decorating Association (IMDA) Awards competition.
REN-FLEX not only made headlines but clinched the prestigious ‘Best Use of In-Mould Labelling (IML)’ award in a resounding victory, showcasing the company’s commitment to innovation and quality.
At the Plastic Product Decorating Summit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the IMDA unveiled the winners from around the globe, recognising excellence in in-mould design and technical achievements across various markets. Ren-Flex, however, stood out by bagging the top honour in the IML category with its outstanding work on the Romano Classic Body Cream 470ml and Arthur Ford Body Cream for brand owners Canway Supply Chain Solutions and AF Brands, respectively.
Dwayne du Sart, Ren-Flex’s chief executive officer, expressed the significance of this achievement, stating: ‘Winning this award in an international competition announces Ren-Flex as a manufacturer of innovative and quality-based products.’
The key to Ren-Flex’s success lies in its ability to meet the IMDA’s criteria for complex, innovative techniques and materials. Dwayne explains: ‘We identified the innovation in this product by stepping away from conventional cold foiling and incorporated a fresh look by printing on laminated foil and finishing with an overcoat varnish.’ This approach allowed for a full or partial foil finish with delicate edges, sidestepping foiling registration issues.
A collaborative effort
The collaborative effort with partners such as Teqal (the moulder that innovated the Teqal-patented IML technology) and Kemtek played a crucial role in the design and construction of the award-winning product. Teqal’s need for a full foil coverage moulded jar with a borderless label required Ren-Flex’s expertise to provide a striking visual impact on the shelf. Ren-Flex’s sales director Albe Naude emphasises: ‘Teqal had to ensure the moulding of a non-static charged label would be possible in their moulding process and be sustainable with ongoing production orders.’
Teqal shareholder and marketing director Sean Kirkham describes the product range as a classic design with a contemporary touch. ‘This kind of cosmetic jar design allows brands to differentiate themselves through shape, colour, decoration and transparency.’
Delving into the construction and technique behind the product label, Dwayne highlights the uniqueness and challenges of the printing process. ‘The artwork was printed on an IML film laminated to foil where the print was passed on the foil side,’ he explains.
According to Kemtek’s digital business development executive Wendy McLoughlin, Kemtek’s contribution involved utilising the critical HP 20/25000 printing presses to meet customer requirements for multiple artwork variants across two brands, requiring precise colour matching on metallized BOPP. Ren-Flex’s CTP team efficiently employed DFE software for matching, and the digital components’ ease of operation allowed for project management flexibility without requiring on-site support from Kemtek.
Wendy further highlights Ren-Flex’s significance as a leading IML label supplier in Africa, expressing Kemtek’s pride in their strong business relationship. The collaboration extends to being Ren-Flex’s preferred partner for HP Indigo printing presses, contributing to the company’s global recognition.
Regarding the printing process, Wendy emphasises the advantages of HP Indigo technology, citing the firm adherence of HP 20/25000 inks to metallized BOPP. ‘The in-line priming and immediate printing in a single pass minimise production time, curing time, and storage space. Despite the challenges of working with laminated IML film, the project saw successful execution without film distortion or stretching,’ she comments.
Wendy notes the absence of incidents in the 760mm web printing across six variations, ensuring colour consistency in the production of 5 000 labels for each.
Reflecting on the win
Reflecting on the broader industry trends, Ren-Flex MD, Colleen Zimmermann, notes a growing demand for in-mould labelling both locally and abroad. ‘Many brands have moved from PSL to IML to highlight their products on the shelf and utilise full coverage for maximum product identity,’ she states. Ren-Flex sees opportunities in streamlining product launches with quick turn-around production times, reduced production costs, and efficient use of manufacturing space.
Looking ahead, Colleen expresses Ren-Flex’s commitment to excellence, asserting: ‘Ren-Flex has reached and exceeded its competitors’ level internationally and will continue on this drive for excellence in the coming years.’ As a Level 1 BEE contributor, Ren-Flex attributes its success to a committed and dedicated team, emphasising the company’s ongoing pursuit of success made easy.