In response to growing industry and regulatory demand for recyclable plastics, Domino Printing Sciences (Domino) is pleased to announce the new U510 laser coder. The U510 is a state-of-the-art UV-based laser coder for high-speed, high-precision coding on recyclable, mono-material, coloured plastics, including flexible food packaging films in horizontal and vertical form-fill-seal (HFFS and VFFS) applications.
Food and beverage manufacturers around the world are under increasing pressure to make their packaging more sustainable – in the EU, this includes a requirement that all packaging be made 100% recyclable or reusable by 2030. Under these new regulations mixed materials, including PET and aluminium foil laminates typically used in food applications, will no longer be permitted.
“Laser coders are a very popular solution for many food and beverage manufacturers looking to add reliably crisp, machine-scannable QR codes, batch and product information, and logos at very high speeds,” says Felix Rief, Head of Laser and Extraction, Domino. “However, certain new sustainable food packaging materials, including mono-material recyclable plastics, can prove challenging to code using traditional fibre or CO2 laser coders. We developed the U510 UV laser to offer manufacturers a reliable laser coding solution for these new sustainable packaging solutions.”
The U510 codes directly onto white and coloured mono-material plastics and films without the need for additional additives or laser-activated fields on the substrate. Codes result from a photochemical reaction on the very top of the plastic, creating a smooth, indelible mark without the risk of compromising the product packaging. Like all Domino lasers, the U510 is optimised to deliver high-contrast text, graphics, and 2D codes, at very high speeds to satisfy the demands of the I fast-paced food production lines. The all-in-one laser head and controller unit is completely protected against dust and water (IP55 rating) to meet the challenging demands of dusty, moist, or even sticky food and beverage production lines.
“The upcoming European legislation is causing many food manufacturers to revaluate their product packaging, often necessitating a change in coding solution. We were approached by one of the world’s leading food manufacturers for an extended 24/7 trial to replace competitor CO2 laser coders at one of the company’s main manufacturing sites,” says Dennis Gesellgen, Global Sector Manager, Domino.
“The trial was a huge success – with its compact design the U510 could replace the competitor laser very easily, and the customer was delighted with the laser performance and, in particular, with the high IP rating for dust and water protection, which is a differentiator for Domino lasers. The customer commented that the U510 had outperformed competitor lasers in all trials, with significantly improved code quality and zero laser-related downtime over the entire duration of the trial.”
The U510 was designed for ease of integration, with an all-in-one printhead and controller unit that integrates seamlessly into existing production lines and an adjustable laser head that can be mounted horizontally or vertically for extra flexibility. In addition, U510 lasers come with Domino’s extended service and support plan and Domino Cloud connectivity for remote diagnostics and monitoring to optimise performance and uptime.
“We know that new and upcoming regulations necessitating the use of recyclable plastics will be of significant concern to our customers now and in the future. So we are very pleased to be able to offer a reliable, UV laser coding solution for these new packaging materials,” says Dr Stefan Stadler, Team Lead, Domino Laser Academy.
“Developments in new sustainable packaging solutions will continue for many years to come, and Domino wants to remain at the forefront of these developments so that we can continue to meet the needs of manufacturers in all industries,” continues Stadler. “As such, we would like to invite any company working with new and emerging packaging materials to contact Domino, so we can continue to develop and manufacture solutions for the latest substrates.”