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  • 07 May 2019

DataLase expands activity in the flexible packaging market with new solvent-based coatings for gravure printing applications

DataLase expands activity in the flexible packaging market with new solvent-based coatings for gravure printing

DataLase has released a new range of solvent-based functional coatings for gravure printing applications, extending its offer to the flexible packaging market.

The new solvent-based coatings, created for use with carbon dioxide lasers, offer an alternative option to continuous inkjet (CIJ) and laser ablation of variable data coding to deliver high contrast, durable, black-on-white codes across a variety of film and foil substrates.

The DataLase technology is a two-step process. First, the printer lays down the DataLase laser-reactive coating as a patch onto a film or foil. This patch can either be surface printed or reverse printed under a barrier laminate layer to provide anti-counterfeit tamper-proof coding. As such, this technology is identified as particularly suitable for pharmaceutical packaging.

A carbon dioxide laser is installed at the point in the production process where the variable data –  expiry dates, lot codes and/or 2D codes – is to be applied to the product. The patch is activated upon exposure to the carbon dioxide laser beam, printing variable data as required to create highly-legible machine-readable tamper-proof codes that are ideally suited for applications that require 100 percent product traceability.

Laser-reactive coatings from DataLase work with carbon dioxide lasers from a variety of suppliers, but the coating has been optimized for use with the Sato range of carbon dioxide lasers, available from DataLase, to ensure a robust best-practice procedure when followed throughout the entire supply chain.

Adam Slack, product manager at DataLase, said: ‘DataLase coding and marking solutions go beyond the capability of standard CIJ or laser ablation processes by allowing manufacturers to benefit from increased productivity, superior traceability and the elimination of inks and solvents from their production halls. Typically, changing from a laser ablation process to the DataLase solution can increase throughput by up to 30 percent, depending on the application. Faster coding of machine-readable black-on-white codes means increased throughput, less servicing and maintenance, and fully compliant product packaging.’

The development extends DataLase’s offer from flexographic printing to include gravure printing applications and boosts the company’s activity in the high growth flexible packaging sector around the world.

Slack continued: ‘DataLase coding is extremely robust and durable avoiding smudging and rub off, which can cause annoying rework and waste for brands, as well as the potential of having to scrap an entire batch if the codes are illegible. This is particularly notable in flexible packaging applications, so we see a great opportunity for growth for DataLase in bringing our technology to this sector.

‘We are continuing to invest in new applications and are excited about supporting brands and printers to assess the benefits of the solution.’

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