UK – Domino Printing Sciences (Domino) has launched U510, a UV-based laser coder for high-speed, high-precision coding on recyclable, mono-material, colored plastics, including flexible food packaging films.

According to Domino, food and beverage manufacturers worldwide are under increasing pressure to make their packaging more sustainable.

In the EU, this includes a requirement that all packaging be made 100 percent recyclable or reusable by 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 fiber 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 colored mono-material plastics and films without requiring additional additives or laser-activated fields on the substrate.

Codes result from a photochemical reaction on the top of the plastic, creating a smooth, indelible mark without the risk of compromising the product packaging.

The new laser is optimized to deliver high-contrast text, graphics, and 2D codes at high speeds to satisfy the demands of the fast-paced food production lines.

The all-in-one laser head and the controller unit are protected against dust and water (IP55 rating).

“The upcoming European legislation is causing many food manufacturers to re-evaluate their product packaging, often necessitating a change in coding solution,” said Dennis Gesellgen, global sector manager at Domino.

“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.”

The U510 has been designed for ease of integration 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 optimize performance and uptime.

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