laser machine

Think you know Parkside? Think again – we’re also leaders in laser technology

Think you know Parkside? Think again – we’re also leaders in laser technology

laser machine

Laser technology has permeated into almost every part of our lives, from everyday applications like barcode scanning to cutting-edge, highly specialised applications like space exploration.

It’s no surprise that this technology has the potential to create some exciting innovations in the packaging industry. However, as with any tool, it requires expertise and creativity to leverage this technology to ensure it can reach its full potential. At Parkside, we have two advanced laser systems that we use for scoring and perforation across a variety of applications.

Most importantly, we have ensured that this cutting-edge technology is backed up by the skills and knowledge required to use it to its fullest. As a result, our unique laser capabilities underpin some of our most well-known innovations.

401 Laser

Our first high-powered laser consists of three laser modules that emit at a wavelength of 10.25µm. It offers multi-directional scoring, cutting and perforation functionality. The power of the laser can be precisely tuned to cut the whole way through a substrate or, in the case of multi-layered polymers and laminates, it can cut through each layer of the material individually.

This enables us to create scored areas for easy opening, which is at the core of our recyclable peel-and-reclose lidding film innovation. By sandwiching an adhesive layer between layers of PET and rPET (ensuring the film contains at least 30% post-consumer recycled material), it’s possible to create a film with an integral opening flap. This film can be weld-sealed to a matching PET tray, ensuring it stays attached during the recycling process in order to meet OPRL guidelines. This technique can also be replicated with other films, including OPP and CPP and was the detail behind our recent Popflex™ innovation, which provides easy open functionality with easy recyclability for the consumer.

This laser can also be used to create standard and micro perforations in materials, as well as larger holes of 3, 6, and 8mm when macro hole punching is required. This enables the creation of breathable films for fresh produce applications. Importantly, all of these value-adding features can be created with a maximum web speed of 120mpm.

402 Laser

Our second laser scoring and cutting system boosts our innovation capacity even further, giving us a truly market-leading suite of technology.

Our 402 Laser is powered by more, higher power laser modules and is supported by a next-generation galvanometer and power modulation systems, which ensure incredibly precise cut vectoring and power delivery to the material substrate.

This system uses multi-directional lasers to deliver cutting and scoring, perforations, and micro perforations with perfect precision – but its advanced design means it can process the top and bottom of the web simultaneously. This unlocks all-new design possibilities, as it effectively doubles the efficiency of the machine and enables more features to be added to the material on each run. It also dramatically increases the maximum throughput of the machine, which can run at a maximum web speed of 300mpm.

Our detailed knowledge of laser behaviour and the way they interact with different polymers means we can deliver solutions to almost any specification with absolute precision.

Keeping standards high

All the advanced technology in the world doesn’t help without the expertise of a skilled team of operators who know how to drive high standards and optimise every run.

Our experienced team of in-house laser and CAD technicians means we can be flexible while delivering consistently high results across packaging runs. We can make development changes on the fly to ensure that each solution we work on delivers the maximum possible value for our customers.

Our Quality Assurance programme ensures that the materials we work with undergo rigorous testing, including microtome, microscope, and tensile strength tests. We also ensure that we gauge the properties of the finished solution itself with a regime of pack functionality testing. This enables us to guarantee that the final pack is fit for purpose and delivers the performance our customers expect. For example, when working on a pack for dried foods, we will ensure that the material can be scored and cut without compromising its oxygen or moisture barrier properties.

All of this is underpinned by our regular laser calibration schedule, which ensures each reel we run is treated with the same perfect precision as the last. Through multi-point power checks and resonator power syncing, we ensure the laser’s power meets the needs of each job. And, through extensive calibration of the grid, rotation, offset, and focus of the system, we can minimise wasted material by keeping production within strict tolerances.

Watching our laser technology department work, it seems effortless as the web glides from reel to reel, with apertures being cut and lines being scored at the speed of light. However, those smooth production runs are the result of expert operators working hard to apply their knowledge to complex materials and machinery.

It takes effort to make something look so effortless – but we and our customers agree that the end results are more than worth it. Our laser technology gives us the capacity to drive new innovations in flexible packaging, helping customers from a range of sectors meet their packaging goals.

From recyclable lidding films to easy-open pouches that offer an enhanced consumer experience, it’s never been easier to add value to your flexible packaging. Get in touch today to learn more about our laser capabilities.

To discover more - get in touch with our team today!