In order to modernize and optimize the packaging line and strictly enforce the legal regulations, more and more laser systems are now used for the packaging of these products in the cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and medical supplies manufacturing industries.
Compared with other labeling technologies, such as pad printing or inkjet printing technology, laser marking technology has great advantages:
â—† High quality and excellent repeatability
â—† Lasting stability of the label;
â—† Good anti-counterfeiting performance;
â—† No need to touch the product when marking;
â—† The process is clean and dry;
â—† No need for other consumables such as inks, solvents, foils and stencils.
â—† Markable high resolution patterns;
â—† High-precision positioning;
â—† High speed marking and high line speed processing;
â—† Markable or non-moving products (similar to inkjet printing);
â—† Unparalleled flexibility;
â—† Can be used for fully automated (CIM) and on-time manufacturing systems;
â—† can greatly reduce the failure rate;
â—† greatly reduce downtime;
â—† Extremely low maintenance costs, extremely low operating costs, economical and practical.
Like all other labeling technologies, laser marking technology not only has advantages but also has its limitations. Users who want to use this system must consider the following factors: Not all materials are suitable for marking with the laser type set by the system. Laser markings have lower contrast than ink markings.
Palette is limited:
â—† Cannot produce red, green and blue directly;
â—† can not directly multi-color code;
â—† need exhaust system and laser protection cover;
â—† The cost of laser marking machines is high.
The requirements for labeling of cosmetics, medicines, and medical supplies are more stringent than those of other products. This is mainly reflected in the following aspects: label durability, clear and legible labels, security, security, cleanliness, and reliability. Laser tags are more suitable for such products than other tag technologies due to their unique advantages. Herein, this article only discusses several uses in a large number of laser marking applications.
Over the years, laser marking of container labels has become a standard. Label the label on the adhesive station of the labeling station, or directly while the robot (such as a rotary container tray or conveyor belt) is handling the container.
Compared with common ink marking technology, there are many advantages to laser marking labels. After a long shutdown, there will be no problem if you reboot. The laser marking system, because of its large working distance (in most cases), reduces the risk that the label will fly out of the viscose disc and stick to the pier. In addition, the laser markings are permanent and legible, and they are not erased or bleached. There is no problem of poor readability due to missing print or offset.
Laser marking is suitable for the harshest environments, but it can also be applied to the clean environment of cosmetic products, pharmaceuticals and medical products production lines. After the unwanted material (like most tag systems) is removed, the exhaust system ensures that the labeling area is clean and tidy. With the laser marking system, bad smells and the ink stains produced by ordinary ink-jet processes will become history.
The laser marking layout can be set at any angle according to the label movement position. There is no limit to the location of external computing, so that labels can be designed more flexibly.
The laser marking system can mark the expiration date and production code of the product on the cap and shirt mat. However, standard cap materials (high-density/low-density polyethylene, polypropylene) are highly transparent to CO2 lasers and Nd:YAG lasers. Therefore, laser marking technology cannot be used directly. Laser-sensitive additives are required to color the material so that it can be laser-marked. Depending on the type of additive added, the bottle cap may appear white or black. A method for achieving high-contrast labeling: pre-print the bottle cap, and then use the laser to remove the color according to the content of the labeling information.
The laser marking system can not only mark the information on the package indirectly through the label, sleeve or cap, but also can directly code. For example, marking directly on the tube. The laser process is clean and dry, which can meet the strictest hygienic requirements of the pharmaceutical production line. Automated, highly reliable, and durable tags increase product safety and can be used to control sales channels. The hose can be laser-marked directly on the conveyor belt. There will be no product leakage in the crimping technology. The problem of â€œexcessive font sizeâ€ that may occur during ordinary labeling techniques such as inkjet marking does not occur during the laser marking process. Just-in-time manufacturing can reduce inventory costs associated with the preprinted pattern required for traditional production lines.
Blister and bag packaging
Lasers are increasingly used to label statutory information on tablet blisters and bags. The marking can be achieved by removing the pigment from preprinted aluminum foil or by changing the color of the plastic film. There is no danger of damaging sensitive films (such as hot-laminated films), there is no problem with drying time (such as ink), no expensive consumables and maintenance costs. The single label speed exceeds 1000 blisters per bag per minute.
PE (polyethylene) and PP (polypropylene) plastic containers can be laser etched very regularly without the need for color-changing grading.
The laser marking can be achieved by removing the pigment from the pre-printed marking area, or by adding a laser-sensitive active additive to the container material. Depending on the type of additive and the type of laser used, the color of the label may be whiter or darker.
Pills, pills and capsules
Laser marking can be used not only for product packaging, but also for contents such as tablets, pills and capsules. These items can be quickly coded at extremely fast line speeds. The laser tagging process is clean and dry, does not distort the drug, and the code is durable and counterfeit. This factor is critical to the drug. Laser marking of tablets, pills or capsules can be up to 100,000 particles per hour. Before the labeling of each drug, or after the labeling, an automatic readout device is generally used to check it to prevent the occurrence of defective products with incorrect labels.
Medical Devices and Equipment
Laser marking is not only suitable for pharmaceutical packaging but also for medical devices and equipment. For example: Hearing aids (plastic shell). Implants (metal heart pacemakers, pacemaker batteries, artificial implants such as stainless steel or ceramic hips and elbows). Surgical instruments (scalpels, scissors and surgical forceps, etc.). Endoscopes, catheters, defibrillators, syringes, etc. (Electronic) control panel for medical instruments. Product information boards (manufacturer, model, number plate, and application range). Electronic devices installed in medical devices. The entire medical device manufacturing industry is concerned about the safety and reliability of products and must be implemented. Extremely rigorous production control and statistical analysis of the rise in the second year. The laser marking system and the processing are fully automated. In addition, the inherent reliability of this marking technology can fully meet these requirements of medical equipment manufacturing.
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