PD_Packaging Digest

Packaging Digest, April 2013

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www.PackagingDigest.com APRIL 2013 // NEW TECHNOLOGY 43 Widen the design space Te laser is used not to create a mold, but to supplement, enhance and otherwise add intricate detail features to the mold. "We still use conventional machining technologies for creation of the large cavities, but have found that the laser offers us flexibility in manufacturing," Nelson tells Packaging Digest. "We create the blow-mold cavity on a milling machine and then use the laser for processing of micro cavities, texture patterns or other features. We are generally five to seven times faster with the laser than traditional mold tools such as Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) and more like 10 to 12 times more cost effective because there are no additional electrodes, manufacture of electrodes or other supplies that are needed for conventional machining." Lasers can do for package design what high definition has done for television. According to Nelson, R&D/Leverage uses 100-watt YAG (yttrium aluminum garnet) lasers that are fitted to a machine platform with 5-axis positioning capability that allows them to create complex geometric shapes used for blow-mold or injection mold cavities. In an interview in November with Other apps for lasers in and on packaging Lasers have been around for years in packaging. One of the more common applications have been the online laser coding of production data onto packages or labels as a permanent alternative to inkjet or other coding methods. Another application upstream of packaging production includes the laser-cutting of complex designs into folding cartons. Lasers are also used in film converting to yield value-added packaging. Examples include perforated or scored flexible substrates for easy-opening features or to create breathable films used in modified atmosphere packaging or for self-venting of microwavable products. PlasticsToday (see www.packagingdigest.com/ptlaser), Nelson said that the new laser equipment available to moldmakers today has made laser reproducible and brought a technology into manufacturing that can greatly increase efficiency in time and cost when texturing is required for a mold. "It's easier to bring in this equipment and train people in its use, and provide valueadd through customization of textures" said Nelson. "While there's always the art work that's required to do this, the 3D software package allows us to take a picture of anything and translate that to a 3D surface and apply it to any portion of the mold. It opens up the design capability and allows the ultimate in For breathability and venting, lasers are claimed to have advantages over the mechanical alternatives such as controlled depth; consistent, clean holes with sealed edges; adjustable perforating patterns; and others. One vendor in the digital laser converting equipment market is LasX Industries Inc., which at Pack Expo 2012 announced a partnership with pouch-making machinery supplier Totani America Inc., to develop equipment solutions that deliver in-line laser scoring and pouching capabilities to the package converting marketplace. LasX also maintains a toll division that provides contracted laser services for materials. customization of molded parts." Nelson informs PD that the biggest hurdle is educating potential customers—or their customers—on what the technology can do so that options are considered during the creative and design phase. LasX Industries Inc., 651-407-0011 www.lasx.com Pochet du Courval, 973- 942-4923 www.verreries-pochet.fr R&D/Leverage, 816-525-0353 www.rdleverage.com Totani America Inc., 920-632-7319 www.tontaniamerica.com Mondi. Nordenia included. From now on every Mondi solution includes the expertise, innovation and high-quality of Nordenia. FOR YOUR SUCCESS. SOLUTIONS. FOR YOUR SUCCESS. www.mondigroup.com/consumerpackaging magenta cyan yellow black ES220905_PD1304_043.pgs 03.27.2013 01:59 UBM

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