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Flexible packaging by Laser Resources

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article image Rofin laser technology

Packaging is considered a critical factor in the consumer goods industry. Rofin laser systems available from Laser Resources provide advanced solutions for easy opening and easy ventilation functions in the packaging of materials.

Instances of difficulties in opening packages are common, leading to spills and minor injuries. Requiring a lot of initial force, the opening force is hard to control due to mechanically created or missing opening lines.

Rofin’s advanced solution can pick individual film layers to scribe. This enables easy opening functions, while leaving the layers that protect the product from humidity and light intact.

Rofin lasers are capable of scribing freeform lines, e.g. following a contour on the print, a new idea to inspire packaging designers.

Easy ventilation functions developed with Rofin laser technology can be used for perforation of packaging. They extend the shelf life of perishables, for instance, salads and other fresh produce and also regulate pressure exchange in microwave ovens.

Easy-tear-off applications can be created by laser perforation lines. Lasers suffer minimal wear, work contact-free and offer good process integrity unlike mechanical tools like rotating knives or barrel punches.

Laser perforation lines can even create easy-tear-off applications. Unlike mechanical tools such as rotating knives or barrel punches, lasers work contact-free, suffer minimal wear and tear and offer excellent process integrity.

Easy opening – selective weakening of flexible film

Laser scribing provides a method for the application of easy opening functionality to multilayered materials for packaging.

Traditional tools often scribe too deep and damage all layers, affecting product integrity or scribe too shallow and demand too much initial force from consumers to be able to control the opening process. Providing a flexible solution, laser scribing focuses on individual film layers of composite packaging material.

At the CO2 laser wavelength, polymers like PET, PP or PE have different properties of absorbing and reflecting light. In one layer, the absorption

results in ablation.

The next layer, which is made of a different material, stays 100% intact. Metallised layers or aluminium provide a highly reflective barrier to the laser light. All these factors allow exact localisation of the required scribing structures in composite packaging materials.

So, the easy opening function can be applied without jeopardising the barrier or the mechanical properties of the pouch or bag. The opening lines are explicitly visible and the consumer finds it easy to control the package. Being a contact-and wear-free process, laser scribing ensures sustained quality and high process reliability.

Easy ventilation – Enhance shelf-life of food with micro-air-holes

A balance between preservation of humidity and air circulation are crucial to the quality and shelf life in the packaging of perishable foods.

Rofin lasers provide significant benefits over conventional processes, such as flame or needles for sufficient perforation of the packaging.

Having 25 years of experience in laser perforation, Rofin employs CO2 lasers with high pulse intensities to perforate every layer in the packaging material.

Each hole has a micromelted edge which prevents microfissures that may jeopardise the packaging integrity. Perforation is ideal for pressure exchange functions, such as packages for microwave meals. With robust packaging materials such as PE/PE combinations, laser perforation can develop perforation lines with 5 to 50 holes/cm for easytear- off applications.

Some typical products:

StarScribe Easy S

A 100W compact turnkey CO2 laser system, StarScribe Easy can easily be amalgamated into existing production lines and winding systems. Fast beam positioning is enabled by the flexible, articulated arm with slight additional effort.

StarScribe Easy lasers are an economical solution yielding good results. It is applicable for scribing applications in web transport direction with lines that can be interrupted, synchronised or continuous to the print.

StarScribe easy remote

For higher laser power (e.g. for higher production speed), Rofin provides the StarScribe Easy Remote S/P with 100, 200 or 300W.

StarScribe WD

This is a high performance module capable of being integrated into existing slitters from established manufacturers. Simultaneous scribing up to 8 processing heads is enabled. At web speeds of up to 600m/minute, high volumes of scribing structures are possible.

Powered by 100 to 2,000W laser sources, the system can also be used for scribing or film cutting with lines that can be interrupted, synchronised or continuous to the print.

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