Laser Perforating For Flexible Packaging

LaserSharp® Laser Perforating

LaserSharp FlexPak Services offers precise LaserSharp® perforating services for breathable packaging applications. Laser perforating creates accurate breathable features that enable vapor and gas exchange through controlled hole size and location. Unlike mechanically perforated films, laser perforated films exhibit holes that are uniform, strong, and clean of residue. The laser perforating process has been proven effective for perishable foods, in addition to microwavable and rapid fill packaging applications, allowing for packing consolidation.

The LaserSharp® Laser Perforating Process

LaserSharp® technology offers a noncontact, clean, and fast processing method, capable of either penetrating entirely through a material or only partially penetrating select layers. Partial laser perforating at controlled depths facilitate vapor and gas exchange while maintaining a hermetic seal. This maintains a barrier between your product and the outside environment, making laser perforating an ideal choice for preserving food products. Laser converting is also a high quality production solution because laser perforated films exhibit consistent uniform holes, free of residue and processing artifacts. Additionally, the heat of the laser beam cauterizes the edges of each perforation, strengthening the surrounding material.

The key to LaserSharp® perforating technology is the advanced controls software managing our laser systems. The machines are equipped to constantly monitor and adjust the laser’s power to ensure consistent hole sizes, even at varying web speeds and different material thicknesses. Laser micro-perforations are created by vaporizing flexible films, creating a perforation in the material for gas exchange, vapor release or rapid fill applications. Lasers are capable of weakening desired layers of a material to produce perforations without compromising the barrier properties of a flexible film. Laser perforations can be precisely registered to print on a product’s package. Registration sensors and vision cameras that are directly installed within the laser system automatically control processing in response to print cues, to ensure pattern accuracy.

Traditional mechanical perforating methods often compromise the strength and integrity of a film as these methods typically puncture flexible films, creating unwanted tears and inconsistent hole sizes. Alternatively, our laser perforating technology allows us to control the depth, size, and pattern of perforations in a method that is more accurate and precise than mechanical processing methods. The total number and location of perforations on a web can be easily and quickly adjusted to deliver a perforation pattern specific to your unique product.

Material Selection and Applications

Materials best suited for laser processing are those with a narrow liquid to vapor temperature range. These include PVDC Barrier and Polyolefin shrink films, Polypropylene, Polyethylene, Nylon, and metalized films. Different materials absorb energy at varying rates and therefore vaporize at different temperatures. Our adaptable laser processing systems adjust laser settings to meet the varying requirements of each flexible material.

Laser Perforating Applications:

  • Breathable packaging to facilitate oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange to extend the shelf life of produce and meat by eliminating condensation and gas buildup
  • Venting for rapid fill applications, encouraging efficient palletizing and storage
  • Steam release features for microwavable applications
  • Targeted oxygen transmission rate (OTR) patterns
  • Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP)

Between skilled engineers, advanced laser technology, and our commitment to quality, all of us at LaserSharp FlexPak Services will work with you to determine a personalized and appropriate solution for your product. From micro-perforated bags for microwavable steam release features to achieving specific oxygen transmission rates, laser converting solutions allow you to introduce new features to your package in a cost-effective manner.

To ensure the quality and consistency of our laser processing, LaserSharp FlexPak Services conducts multiple quality checks throughout the production run. For instance, oxygen transmission rate testing and microscopic analyses are both available on-site, and are done to guarantee the accuracy of the laser perforating process. Click here to learn more about our quality checks and our toll laser converting services.

Laser Perforating Images

3500 Willow Lake Blvd., Suite 700.  Vadnais Heights, MN 55110. USA.    Phone: 651-789-8800    Fax: 651-789-8801.    email us