In response to growing industry and regulatory demand for recyclable plastics, Domino Printing Sciences (Gurnee, Illinois) has rolled out its 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, said Domino. For example, in the European Union, this includes a requirement that all packaging be made 100% recyclable or reusable by the year 2030. Under these new regulations, mixed materials (including PET and aluminum 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,” said Felix Rief, Head of Laser and Extraction at 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 optimized to deliver high-contrast text, graphics and 2D codes at very high speeds, to satisfy the demands of 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 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. In addition, U510 lasers come with Domino’s extended service and support plan, and Domino Cloud connectivity for remote diagnostics and monitoring.