Laser coding is one of the most reliable, versatile and inexpensive ways to code. Suitable for high print volumes, as seen a lot in the food and beverage and pharmaceutical industry. In these branches, for example, the indelibility of the code is extra important for the traceability and minimization of the risk of removal of the code (fraud). And also suitable for lower print volumes as well, in which case one of the advantages is that the laser can be used directly, without time-consuming boot up and shutdown procedures.
How does coding with a laser work? Patrick Smit, Sales Engineer at Mundi Technology, explains: "The concentrated light beam (laser beam) is deflected by mirrors to a lens. The beam reaches the surface, which need to be coded, through the lens. As soon as the laser beam hits the object, the coding occurs. The coding is created by removing the coating or a layer of material from the package or product with the laser beam. Or by changing /discoloring the surface of the material where the code must be placed on. In all cases, the code is permanent, in other words indelible." Below you will find a description of a few material types and how the code occurs on it. Colored paper/carton In case of colored paper or carton, the colored layer is removed by the laser beam, so that the coding becomes visible through the contrast with the untreated subsurface. Big advantages of laser coding on paper or cardboard is that the coding does not fade or blur and that there are almost no operational costs involved.
Plastic On plastic, the coding is made by changing the color of the plastic. The beam changes the chemical composition of the plastic where it comes into contact with each other. This makes that the discoloration takes place and the desired coding will appear. Another way of coding on plastic is that the laser beam melts the plastic. In each situation we will look which way of coding meets all the wishes and requirements.
Glass A coding on glass appears by the laser beam making microscopically small cracks or pits in the glass. Also, the glass can be melted locally, in which case the coding is formed by the molten surfaces. Depending on the desired coding, it is considered which way suits best.
Wide range of applications Due to the constant development of the lasers, ease of use has been increased without losing the trusted quality. Patrick Smit explains: "Because of a wide variety of brand headers and positions, our lasers provide over 20,000 standard configurations. For just about any specific coding issue, a perfectly matched machine can be delivered. In addition to this laser coding is now accessible for even more applications. Also for applications for which it previously seemed too complex."
More information? How the coding is made, on other materials than the ones listed here, we are more then willing to t ell you in person. Placing codes with a laser is a serious option for almost every product or packaging. Curious about the possibilities in your particular situation? Contact us non-committal. You can reach us by phone at +31 (0) 297-230 840 or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mundi Technology has been a market leader for years and supplies high-quality devices for laser coding, checkweighing and inline inspection. Our devices ensure low operational costs and a high line efficiency.