“Virtually every type of incision can be made by this technology,” said Arun Anand, executive vice-president, marketing at Uflex Packaging. “Predefined tearing path is created which guides the end-user to conveniently open the packaging. And all this is done without compromising the barrier properties required by the product packed inside.”
On the reason why Uflex decided upon this technology, Anand explained, “As India’s largest multinational flexible packaging company, one of the things our clients want from us is to incorporate easy to open features.”
One of the conventional tools that have been used to create tearing paths on flexible packaging is serrated cutter fitted on Form, Fill and Seal Machines. This is not considered as a very conducive option as the tool gets worn out with a frequent need of replacement.
“With the laser scoring technology, we are able to offer a non-contact, clean processing solution that eliminates the need for mechanical tooling or associated consumables,” Anand said.
The laser system is capable of precise scoring process that adds accurate features not obtainable through other mechanical methods. This also reduces production downtime, as pattern or design modifications are made rather instantaneously.
“The high-quality laser scoring technology that we have invested in provides the ability to precisely and consistently score flexible packaging at controlled depths at varying web speeds. Score lines are created in specified areas of the film/laminate, forming a narrow channel in the material for a tear to follow,” he added.
Effectively, a laser weakens targeted layers of packaging material to produce score lines without compromising the barrier properties of the flexible film. Various laser scoring configurations like half-moon cut, wedge cut, umbrella cut, slant cut, to name a few, are possible at packaging manufacturing plants.
Anand said with the help of the value-added laser scoring technology, Uflex has offered easy-to-tear flexible packaging solutions to various FMCG brands of snack food, ketchups, condoms, pet food, tea, coffee, rice, spices etc.
For a leading snack brand in India, the company engineered a three-layer laser scored diaphragm (opening) comprising PE/MET PET/PE.
Ashok Chaturvedi, chairman and managing director, Uflex, said, “Ease of opening a pack for accessing the product is fundamental to an end-user’s overall experience. Some substrates within a laminate are really difficult to tear open without using a cutter/ blade. In line with our business strategy of innovation to create value-added differentiation to the advantage of our clients, we have invested in sophisticated laser scoring technology that permits perfect incision in a laminate at controlled depths and variable web speeds. This, in turn, allows the consumers to easily open the pack, adding to experiential delight and upholding the very ethos of flexible packaging.”