Applications for CO2 lasers in high-speed packaging lines are growing as design engineers find more ways to utilize the unique characteristics of laser processing, including:
- Perforating and scoring to facilitate easy opening while maintaining the integrity of the packaged product
- Drilling micro-sized holes for sent-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
Continuous cuts require CO2 lasers with high average power for throughput, while 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 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.