Laser coding on packaging
Laser applications for the packaging sector are many. This technology is well suited to replicate all the most common processes in this sector, such as cutting, scoring or perforating packages. But, one advantage, is that it can can also perform innovative processes such as laser microperforation, used for example in manufacturing bags for modified atmosphere packaging, or in laser scoring applications on packaging.
In each of these applications laser technology brings efficiency, high speed and precision to the production process, so much so that in many cases it has become an indispensable tool for the production line.
The application of codes on packaging
The application of codes on packaging is one of the processes that have benefited greatly from the switch to laser production techniques.
Codes are necessary to ensure the traceability of products, to enable their logistical management and to guarantee consumer safety. All products placed on the market are accompanied by a code that can take a different shape or application.
CO2 laser is an ideal coding solution. It can engrave high quality, indelible marks with high resolution on most packaging materials, such as paper or corrugated cardbord.
Excellent results are also achieved on flexible packaging that uses thermoplastics such as polypropylene or polyethylene.
Secondly, laser offers a flexibility of application that other technologies do not possess.
Various types of alphanumeric information, image or graphic codes such as barcodes can be imprinted with the same tool. The whole process is extremely fast and produces no residue or waste.
When to use lasers
A few considerations must be made before deciding to switch to a laser system for packaging coding.
Industrial laser systems require a high initial investment to buy the technology and then set it up in an efficient system. On the other hand, lasers guarantee an unparalleled return on investment in terms of productivity. Lasers are very fast at performing their tasks and also extremely flexible.
The following two situations are the ones that guarantee an optimal use of laser technology:
- very high production volumes
- the requirement for a very high level of flexibility in production
Conversely, a less than ideal situation is when production volumes are low and production is very standardized.
In this latter case, traditional processes would provide a better return on investment.
Laser technology for packaging
Laser coding applications on packaging use the laser marking process. This process, part of the typical galvo scanning processes, consists of engraving a mark on the surface of a material with a laser beam.
In this type of application, a laser source and a galvo heads are used to move the laser beam across the surface. CO2 laser sources are available in different power configurations. The final choice depends on the type of material that needs to be marked and the required processing speed.
A laser coding system for packaging can be implemented in many ways based on the material to be processed, the production volume and the type of information to engrave.
The possibilities are endless, and only expert advice can help you find the best solution for your needs. If you want to know more, contact us: our experts will help you create a tailor-made solution for your company.