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.