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Laser perforation is re volutio nising i intelligent packaging

ntelligent packaging Fromextending

produce, tomaking S teveHug packag

REOUK, takes a lookathow microperforat aging andwhy

ughes,manag ke

ationis hymaintaining accuracyisvital tosuccess.

When it comes to designing food packaging there ismore to take into

account than the point of sale (POS) appeal. Consumers are becoming i savvy and they wantmore

value fofor thei r ncreasingly

money than produce that will quickly ‘go off’. In addition, calls to put an end to food waste are becoming a common sight in international headlines, and packaging that extends the life of produce will go a lon g way to answer this call .

WASTE NOT, WANT NOT E N T, T N According to the United Nations

Environment Programme (UNEP), around one third of food produced human consumption each


year is wasted. globally fofor

That’s about 1.3 billion tonnes. In the United States alone, 30 per cent of all food is thrown away every year.

Well designed intelligent packaging can not only help consumers in choosing the right amount of fofood fofor their needs, it will also keep it in the best possible condition fofor longer.

r. This has led to a wave of research and development that has contributed to the increasing use of laser perfoforation technology in a variety of applications.

ng the shelf lifeof fresh ib


evolving food owlaser


In 2013, The Co-operative group of supermarkets in the UK started using computer-guided laser-cutmodified

moisture packaging (MMP) for its packaged tomatoes. The small hole perforation technology extended the shelf life of the fruit (yes, tomatoes are a fruit!) by two days. This is because the precise holes in the packaging allowed the tomatoes to continue to respire.Without the right balance of perforation, the packaged tomatoes would either become too dry or would decay and developmould.

The ASDA supermarket chain addressed the same problemwith its Extra Special Cornish Crystal Potatoes by working with Ultimate Packaging that employs laser perforation patterns to optimise gas transmission through the film. As a result, the company reported a 92 per cent year- on-year reduction in customer complaints .

REVOLUTIONISING DINNER TIME The accuracy of lasermicroperforation is also driving evolution in the preparation of fast-cook oven andmicrowavemeals. For example, Dutch foodmanufacturer, Qizini, has been exploring revolutionary variable heat steamingmethods in its packaging. The low density polyethylene (LDPE) material of the filmlid plays a role in the effectiveness of this particular packaging;

REVOLUTIONISING DINNER TIME r, ng itpossible tomicrowa owave a wav

pre-preparedroastdinner inminutes, these aremore thanjustmicroscopicholes

the readymeals are packaged with

vegetables in one compartment andmeat in another, and the distribution of three sets ofmicroperforations allows for both to cook properly in the same amount of time. Perforation in food packaging is not something that is necessarily considered new, but for a long time it has been a ‘one size fits all’ solution. However, itmeans that things can be optimised for individual requirements with great ease. Such is the appeal of bespoke

perforation solutions that food packaging companies are investing heavily in laser perforation technolog Foy. For instance, in 2014 Clondalkin Flexible Packaging invested £400,000 on newmachinery, including a laser perfo quality of perforations

are regularly used onmultipack products such as yoghurts.

When spending he avily on ne w

equipment, to benefit fromits accuracy levels, it is important to ensure you are set up to keep those levels as high as possible. Despite the use of new generation technology,

y,many applications are still

using conventional power supplies that are not suited for the high frequency, capacitive load placed

This causes power quality problems including voltage fluctuations, unwanted tripping and dips in output voltage, which leads to a drop in laser power resulting i n poor process performance.

nature of laser technol To get themost out

REO UK has designed the REOTRON SMP to specifically overcome these problems by creating special control algorithms for use with capacitive loads, allowing you tomaintain voltage and current with a high level of accuracy. result, packaging companies will continue to benefit fromthe capacity for faster product throughput and low reject rate. To

y. As a

of the revolutionary ogy,

and India, REOmanufactures resistive and inductive wound components fofor use with static frequency converter drives. www.

w.reo. 20 September 2016 k

on the power supply. y, highly


in its pre-cut lids that rator to enhance the y,

y, it is important t o

make sure you have the right infrastructure to support the accuracy it is renowned for.r. With operations in Germany,

y, USA, China

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