The fastest way to add codes to polyethylene packaging

  • By Michael Hurst
  • August 04, 2015
  • Beverage
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Working closely with MERCK KGaA, we have developed a breakthrough application around the Domino F220i fibre laser coder and a new generation of MERCK additives.

Popular plastics, problematic coding

In FMCG industries, where production efficiency matters, there is no streamlined way to add codes to packaging that’s made from polyethylene or polypropylene. It’s a big problem. Polyethylene and polypropylene are two of the most widely used polymers in the world when it comes to packaging.

While new technologies have made it possible to print more effectively onto a variety of plastic substrates, there has never been a simple, fast way to add codes to polyethylene or polypropylene. Existing technology makes for erratic, inconsistent print quality. And the process is simply too time-consuming for FMCG production lines.

Now that’s about to change.

Welcome to a coding revolution…

Domino and MERCK have developed a revolutionary new way to code onto polyethylene and polypropylene. It’s based around the use of our F220i fibre laser coder and a new generation of laser additives developed by MERCK – the Iriotec 8000 series.

Two different laser additives are available: powder and granules.

When Iriotec 8000 powder is added to the substrate, it absorbs laser light, transforms it into heat and initiates a carbonization effect. This triggers a colour change in the polymer and allows for high-contrast, razor-sharp coding – at speed. The powder can be added to the polymer quickly and easily, it’s temperature-resistant and colour-neutral.

Iriotec 8000 granules work slightly differently. In effect the granules react directly with the laser light from the F220i coder, independently of the surrounding polymer. The colour change takes place within the granulate itself, leaving the surrounding polymer unchanged. It makes for sharp clarity, exceptional colour contrast and clear marking.

Production line efficiency – and compliance with food packaging requirements

The combination of the Domino F220i laser coder and MERCK’s Iriotec 8000 laser additives is a game-changer. It makes it easier, faster and more effective than ever before to add codes to polyethylene and polypropylene packaging – slashing time on the production line and improving code quality.

Best of all? MERCK have developed a special set of laser additives from the Iriotec 8000 series that can be used in food packaging. The additives allow you to meet the European standard for food packaging – Resolution AP (89) 1 – as well as the recommendations of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment and the US FDA regulations on food packaging.

In a nutshell, it’s a breakthrough that offers high-contrast, high-speed, indestructible coding onto almost any polymer material.

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