During the last SEI Laser open house dedicated to graphic and cardboard industry, – we are going to speak about it in Converter&Cartotecnica March/April issue – we met Matteo Maffeis, sales manager of SEI Laser for the machinery dedicated to flexible packaging. He presented us the latest innovations dedicated to flexible packaging converters. For these users, thanks to the laser, can open up new markets, whose limit is dictated only by imagination…
SEI Laser designs and manufactures since 1982 laser systems for various industrial applications, and in recent years the company has focused particularly on graphic and packaging applications, also with solutions specifically designed for flexible packaging, thanks to a modular platform that is well suited to different production requirements.
Matteo Maffeis, who has a great technical and commercial experience in the flexible packaging industry, has been called by the company to develop the sector of flexible packaging, which today plays a strategic role of recognition and differentiation of products in stores and as a fundamental element of communication and marketing. Consumers love products that can transmit freshness, authenticity and for them seeing the product inside the packaging is a very important feature, that manufacturers of packaging must be able to satisfy.
Two technologies for different applications: Packmaster CrossWeb and Packmaster Web direction
SEI Laser with its solutions for converters of flexible packaging can help to add value to the packaging, allowing its customers a substantial differentiation in an increasingly crowded market.
“Our laser systems allow the creation of different innovative solutions in the flexible packaging world, including easy opening, windowed packaging, and micro/macro perforation for breathability and baking of the product. The new range of laser systems designed and built all in-house, are perfect for cutting, half-cut, macro and micro perforation of flexible single or multilayer films in different materials including paper, PE, PET, PP, nylon, PTFE and laminated films”, says Matteo Maffeis before moving on to describe the two SEI Laser technologies for all these processes.
The flagship solution is undoubtedly the Packmaster CrossWeb, a solution with fairly compact dimensions that is placed directly in the production cycle of a solventless laminating machine, available for webs up to 1800 mm and can reach 400 m/min in processes of cutting, half-cutting and micro perforation with galvo scanning heads.
“With Packmaster CrossWeb you can create windows that are increasingly used in the paper packaging laminated to film, or the easy opening for diapers packages or pet food packaging, micro-perforations for salad, tomatoes, chicken pouches or all those micro-incisions and punctures for cooking food in the microwave oven. This technology is perfect for all packaging converters in food or health-care industry. The fully digital process allows the immediate job change with a drastic reduction in downtime and lower costs, since it is no longer necessary the mechanical die-cutting”, says Maffeis. Then he explained in detail the functioning of laser or lasers mounted on Packmaster CrossWeb.
In this case, since this solution is able to realize any type of geometric shape, lasers inside the cutting area manage to draw even complex geometries, impossible to achieve with a traditional process of cutting/die cutting directly on the laminating machine. “It is a closed system, and the only interface provided on the machine on which it will be mounted, is for the emergency control. We opted for this solution that provides greater process standardization and does not imply any type of action for the machine operator. The system is equipped with a system for vapors suction and a lower cassette for the recovery of waste material”.
The proprietary software Icarus is extremely intuitive and has been developed by SEI Laser engineers for the flexible packaging industry. You can import any type of vector files as well as monitor at video the status of the work.
The second solution, a little simpler and space saving, is Packmaster Web direction, width up to 1800 mm and speeds over 500 m/min for applications requiring continuous perforations for easy opening, micro-perforations with controlled diameter, hatches, but only longitudinally to the direction of the web running direction.
The laser also allows you to write directly on the packaging, for example customizing flexible packaging with unique codes, production batch number and expiration date.
“The application possibilities are endless, we have national and international companies that have already installed our systems and we record a significant interest from many printers/converters who want to know the full potential of our systems to assess their implementation in their production processes. I think that one of the applications that will develop significantly in the near future is represented by windowed packaging and resealable packages: thanks to these you can decrease food waste and environmental impact, issues deeply felt by consumers.
SEI Laser has the skills and the right technologies to assist customers in the development of these new trends within the varied world of packaging”, says Matteo Maffeis.