Laser Converting Systems Open Up New Opportunities For TLM Laser
Bromsgrove based laser specialists TLM Laser has added LaserSharp® digital converting technology to their portfolio. This follows a recent partnership agreement with LasX Industries (www.lasx.com), a technology and industry leader in high performance production class laser converting systems and services.
As a firmly established and highly respected supplier of laser technology, TLM is already active across a wide range of market sectors including automotive, medical, pharmaceutical and plastics. The company’s portfolio of laser products and systems is now further enhanced with the addition of LaserSharp® digital converting technology. The comprehensive laser processing systems developed by LasX are used for laser cutting, scoring, and perforating processes, eliminating the need for costly tooling and lengthy set-up times, resulting in greater efficiencies and higher productivity for packaging manufacturers.
The LaserSharp® digital converting technology now opens up many new opportunities for TLM Laser within the Packaging sector. The company will initially focus on “Breathable Packaging” and “Easy Open” applications, working closely and confidentially with packaging manufacturers and their engineers to develop new product specific processes or enhance and upgrade existing manufacturing processes.
Laser perforation produces clean, strong, and precise micro-holes, enabling a vapour and gas exchange processes through the packaging material.
(TLM Laser now offer LaserSharp® digital converting technology as part of their product range)
Unlike traditional mechanical perforating methods, which can potentially puncture or rip flexible packaging films, laser perforating produces cauterised micro-perforated patterns with precise round holes. In addition, the non-contact nature of the laser process ensures that holes are produced cleanly and free from any processing debris.
(Micro-holes less than 100 microns diameter produced by the laser are effective in preserving food products)
LaserSharp® technology also has the ability to perforate blind hole to a specific depth into the packaging film, whilst maintaining the barrier between the product and the outside environment.
Creating breathable packaging features using laser perforation has proven effective in preserving food products. Laser micro-perforating extends the shelf life of perishable foods by improving the atmosphere and controlling the amount of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and moisture inside the package. This process also helps reduce condensation and bacteria growth, whilst keeping the product inside fresh and maintaining flavour. Breathable applications have also been constructed for modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), microwavable steam release features, venting, and rapid-fill packaging.
Laser scoring allows for easy tear propagation of packaging films without affecting the barrier properties of the package. Mechanical scoring methods often cause uneven tear lines that rip or degrade flexible films, laser scored lines by comparison deliver a clean, consistent tear every time for easy open packaging materials. Applications for laser scoring include easy open tear strips for re-sealable pouches, pour spouts, zipper bags, microwavable packages, and peel re-sealable packages.
LaserSharp® processing technology provides the ability to precisely and consistently score easy open packaging films at controlled depths. The key to this process involves the advanced control software of the LasX system, which constantly monitors and adjusts the laser’s power to ensure a consistent score depth. Laser scored features can be applied in both machine (down web) and transverse (cross web) directions for easy open packaging products.
TLM Laser Director Andy Toms comments on the new technologies available to the company: “We are delighted to be partnered with LasX that has such a strong reputation and a great product range. We are excited about the new opportunities this will open up for TLM Laser and the benefits which we can bring to packaging brand owners and converters.”