Eliminating trial and error from laser coding solutions

  • By Domino Printech
  • January 31, 2019
  • General
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Domino Printing Sciences’ specialist laser team is meticulously pinpointing and analysing the composition of cardboard cartons, plastics and their packaging alternatives. This offering from Domino helps businesses to match the right laser coding solution to their selected packaging material. A comprehensive and informative catalogue of pre-tested materials is also being produced as part of the programme.

We are currently expanding our documentation on the impact of different laser solutions on a wide range of substrates from pharmaceutical-grade carton boards to new sustainable materials, including starch-based alternatives to plastic. 

The Team Lead at Domino’s Hamburg, Germany-based Laser Academy Stefan Stadler said his team’s proactive approach to substrate testing was evidence that there is more to Domino than just printing.

“Many companies adopt a trial and error testing approach without the capability of understanding why specific substrates print clearer codes. Currently, code ability and printability does not form part of the materials specification for packaging suppliers. Therefore, situations occur when packaging suppliers change the material slightly, which can affect the coding quality and downtime. “Domino’s Laser Lab can pinpoint the change in packaging material which can cause these issues. The laboratory is also being sent new, more sustainable packaging materials to test as the global trend for more environmentally friendly packaging continues to grow, so we are building profiles for those too,” Stefan Stadler - Team Lead at Domino Laser

Another trend, according to Stadler, is thinner packaging to save on costs. “This also influences the coding and marking technology because the packaging may be too thin to code, potentially damaging the material. With Domino’s expertise, it is possible to pinpoint any change in packaging composition quickly and using our profiles be able to recommend the most suitable coding solution.”

RELATED: Sustainability: Looking to the future

Marking under the microscope


Image of a bad carton topography

Domino’s specialist equipment permits measurement of a substrate’s reaction to laser radiation over time. Based on its findings, an appropriate laser is selected and tested. Using a powerful 3D microscope, Domino experts evaluate the code quality, produce imagery and provide a detailed report to the customer.  

Due to the growing consumer concern over single-use plastics, as well as the ban on a range of single-use plastics backed by the European Parliament on 24 October, businesses are becoming increasingly interested in the ecological footprint of their products.  

Domino’s catalogue of substrates and materials suitable for laser coding is providing insight into alternatives to traditional packaging solutions across sectors including Life Sciences, Industrial, Food and Beverage.

RELATED: Domino CSI: Code Scene Investigation



Image of a good carton topography

Proactive testing

Efficient, high quality product marking maximises uptime and ensures legislative compliance – even in the most testing production environments.

Building on almost 25 years’ insight into substrate response to laser marking, Domino scientists are currently testing and cataloguing 45 of the most commonly used pharmaceutical cartons.

Over recent years, Domino’s laser team has been building a register of materials and their suitability to laser printing. It has been devised to evolve in line with the packaging solutions available in the market and provides our technical and sector teams with valuable insight into market trends.

Domino’s continuous investment in its laser and ink testing facilities enables Domino to be at the forefront of substrate testing.

For further information on testing visit www.domino-printing.com/industries

RELATED: Regulations and trends are making manufacturers ‘think ink’

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