Maximise cost efficiencies with inline digital printing technology

Brand owners, co-packers and converters can generate high quality graphics whilst minimising costs and boosting supply chain efficiencies thanks to a new inline digital printing technology developed by DataLase.

One of the market leaders in laser digital printing of products and packaging has developed a solution which uses patented laser reactive pigments. When incorporated into a coating, or conventionally printed onto a package and exposed to a low power CO2 or NIR diode array laser on a packing line, it generates a colour change reaction resulting in a high definition, premium quality digital print.

The DataLase technology can be applied on a variety of primary and secondary packaging materials, to enable the diode laser to print text, and graphics up to 100mm high and 2m/sec with one laser. The solution enables high-speed printing, which is ideal for in line customised print. In addition, the system is essentially an inkless print solution removing the requirement for consumables at the point of packing and filling or converter.

Chris Wyres, DataLase CEO, said: “DataLase is setting a benchmark for the future of global inline digital printing. The technology can be integrated into existing production lines, avoiding excessive investment costs for packers and fillers in offline capability and generates enhanced real time marketing capability, whilst minimising costs for brand owners. It also opens up a wealth of opportunities for printing variable information in applications that have been considered impossible or problematic using traditional print techniques.”

DataLase has offices in the UK, US and Japan and has secured numerous global patents for its Variprint and Infinity platforms, which take the technology to another level, from traditional black/white codes and graphics to introducing multiple colour printing capabilities.

For brand owners, the DataLase inline digital print solution brings a wealth of benefits in delivering real time product marketing solutions for maximum sales impact.

Incorporated in to the final packing or filling process stage, DataLase enables late stage customisation and personalisation of packs to deliver just-in-time flexible variable data and messages on pack.

The inline aspect of DataLase technology brings advantages to the entire supply chain. For packers and fillers this includes avoiding the need to invest in large-scale out of line digital capacity and there is a reduction in SKUs through the removal of the requirement for pre printed materials.

Inline laser digital printing is also high speed relative to traditional inkjet and thermal print techniques bringing improved efficiency and capacity on the packing line. For example, DataLase label printing on a beverage line can take place at more than 100,000 bottles per hour.

As DataLase technology is inkless, brand owners are able to deliver a clean, high-definition, cost-effective printed pack and avoid issues associated with ablation, inkjet and thermal printing such as high equipment maintenance costs, overspray and ink particulates contamination. This negates the risk of low quality graphics and codes, resulting in reduced returns and supply chain waste.

Converters can also offer customers a highly advanced digital print solution, using existing print assets and machinery, thus reducing the need for capital expenditure on new digital machinery and training or sending materials out to other converters.