Assorted packaging demonstrating laser perforating and drilling micro-sized holes

Packaging

Applications for Synrad CO2 lasers in high-speed packaging lines are growing as design engineers find more ways to utilize the unique characteristics of laser processing, including:

  • Digitally controlled precision cutting for on-the-fly change over to minimize downtime, and maximize production output
  • Digital cutting to optimize short-run efficiency and increase production flexibility
  • Perforating and scoring to facilitate easy opening while maintaining the integrity of the packaged product
  • Drilling micro-sized holes for scent appeal or to accelerate the dispersion of medicine from a capsule
  • Precision cutting and drilling thin produce packaging films to ensure freshness
  • Permanently marking packages with codes and expiration dates that will not smear or rub off

Digital cutting replaces the traditional mechanical system with a high performance CO2 laser and a fully digital galvanometer scan head. The laser produces a beam of light at a specific wavelength, which is focused and directed onto the target material by the scan head. Cutting patterns are digitally controlled, eliminating the need for stored dies and time-consuming set up associated with the traditional mechanical cutting equipment. Increasing interest in short runs, customized designs, and faster time to market are driving the integration of digital cutting systems into modern packaging equipment.

Continuous cuts require CO2 lasers with high average power for throughput. Perforating or drilling requires a CO2 laser with high peak power. Target materials should be matched with the proper wavelength for best throughput and quality results. Synrad is the only CO2 laser manufacturer that offers a wide range in all three laser parameters: continuous wave, pulsed, and wavelength options.

Non-contact manipulation is another significant advantage CO2 lasers offer. Automated processing lines moving at high rates of speed benefit from CO2 lasers as they cut, perforate, mark, and code packages without contact, avoiding snagging and dragging that will slow line speed.

For more information about Synrad CO2 laser applications in packaging, watch this video.

Coding

Coding is similar to the CO2 laser marking process and done with low power (10 – 30 W) lasers. The difference is coding a mark that varies from piece to piece (as in a unique item code) or across a group of pieces (as in an expiration date). Laser coding is preferred over other coding methods because the code is permanent, will not fade nor rub off. The laser coding process can ablate pigment out of the target area, leaving a high contrast white mark without damaging the surface material. It can create a frosted mark on clear plastics like PET, as well. Recommended coding lasers:

Ablation

An ablation process selectively removes one material from the surface of another. Synrad CO2 lasers excel at removing and vaporizing the target material, leaving no residue nor damaging the target material. This is an especially effective technique for improving tactile quality. Recommended ablation lasers include:

Precision Cutting

Precision Cutting requires a laser with good power density stability to control cutting and higher average power to maximize line speed. Laser cutting avoids contact with the target material, eliminating the typical pressure marks associated with mechanical cutting systems. Recommended precision cutting lasers include:

Perforating

Perforating requires a laser with high peak power and excellent beam quality for crisp, symmetrical perforations. Laser perforating avoids contact with the target material, eliminating the typical pressure marks associated with mechanical perforating systems. Recommended perforating lasers include:

Marking

Marking requires a laser with excellent beam quality for crisp marking and good stability for consistent results. Recommended marking lasers include:

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