Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Domino and Futamura collaborate to produce sustainable laser coding

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sustainable laser coding

Domino Printing Sciences has revealed its D-Series CO2 laser coders as an additive-free solution for food manufacturers utilizing NatureFlex compostable cellulose films. The company has collaborated with global packaging film producer, Futamura, to assess the suitability of laser coding for NatureFlex compostable film products. Following initial suitability testing, Domino’s D-Series CO2 laser was used to code the NatureFlex compostable film and achieved a clean, crisp, white code. There was reportedly no impact on film integrity or chemical composition and moisture barrier properties were unaffected.

“We are very pleased to be able to offer Futamura’s food packaging customers an additive-free laser coding solution for their product packaging,” says Dr. Stefan Stadler, team lead at the Domino Laser Academy. “We predict that in the coming years, requests for compostable solutions will become more prominent – and we are ready and willing to work with any brand exploring these new materials to help find the right coding solution for their individual requirements.”

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Coding requirements of compostable films

NatureFlex films have been developed for use in food packaging applications to meet the growing demand for environmentally responsible packaging. The company says the films are designed to meet all the global standards for industrial composting, including BS EN13432, and are certified as home compostable under the OK Compost Home standard.

“Brand owners are always looking at ways to communicate with their consumers on their packaging,” says Amaia Cowan, business development manager – EMEA, Futamura UK. “All of our NatureFlex films are certified to prove their suitability for industrial and home composting. Many of our customers want to show the final packaging’s certification and additional disposal information on the film to help inform end consumers.”

Developing the solution

Domino’s coding experts analyzed six different variants of NatureFlex compostable film to determine which laser coding solution would be the most appropriate option for further suitability testing. This included undertaking spectroscopic analysis for the substrates to determine which wavelength of light has the best interaction with the substrate material, followed by coding of the samples using one of Domino’s D120i CO2 laser coders.

On all six NatureFlex variants, the D120i produced a clear, crisp, white code. The codes were reportedly clear and legible even under very high printing speeds, making the D-Series lasers a highly feasible solution for coding compostable films in food packaging applications.

After coding the films, Domino’s laser experts used microscopic imaging and spectroscopy techniques to confirm that no structural damage was inflicted and that the solution did not cause any chemical changes that could affect the substrate’s performance as a food packaging material.

“We were reassured by Domino’s scientific approach to substrate testing and coding and willingness to provide us with the results and assurance that we needed to confirm that laser coders are a suitable solution for our compostable films,” says Cowan.

The editorial team of The Packman who handle all the press releases with Sunil Jain working as the desk editor.

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