Maryport, Cumbria, UK—Supermarket supplier Cumbrian Seafoods produces more than 200 lines of fresh fish, shellfish, coated, and added-value products. The clear permanent marking of polypropylene containers is vital to meet stringent supermarket and end user requirements.
The challenges of condensation and product contamination on the coding surface and mark permanence were solved using the Lightjet Vector lasers supplied by Imaje (Runcorn, UK) that replace traditional ink jet coding machines. Two machines on parallel lines mark at rates of 4000 tubs per hour. The laser etches the plastic surface with permanent; tamper-proof marks that are not affected by moisture or oil on the surface.
Ink-based markings on polypropylene can smear and degrade character definition so Cumbrian likes the high-integrity laser marks because it gives traceability back to the plant and batch, along with clear shelf-life and eat-by instructions, which eliminate returns.
There are no consumables using lasers so the need to hold or monitor ink and additive stocks is eliminated, bringing large savings on running costs. Not using solvented ink in the production area also removes a health, safety, and storage concern. Solvents can also be a source of odor that is unwelcome when processing delicate foods.
Cumbrian Seafoods processes more than 7500 tons of fish each year so its lines are always buzzing to keep up with supermarket orders, especially at busy seasonal times such as Easter and Christmas. With the new Lightjet Vector lasers from Imaje the company is assured freedom from stoppages while achieving clear permanent marking.
Check out Imaje solutions for laser coding at www.imaje.com