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Rofin has developed the Starpack range of laser systems, designed for both web-direction and cross-web applications in laser perforating, used in food packaging as well as security documentation.

Often difficult to see with the naked eye, micron-sized holes are used in packaging to control and extend the shelf life of many fresh products, improve the efficiency of filter tips for cigarettes and even enhance anti-counterfeit measures on event tickets, security passes and passports.

Rofin’s Starpack range of laser systems feature the company’s Web Movement Compensation System (WMC), which controls and optimises the perforation hole dimensions, ensuring consistency and further enhancing the shelf life of fresh food products.

This results in less waste and lower costs.

Lasers have also proven useful for Selective Weakening / Easy Opening applications in packaging.

The capability of the laser to ‘select’ a particular film layer(s) to scribe enables the generation of precise, easy-opening tear lines, while leaving other layers that are required to protect the product from light and humidity, intact.

Rofin lasers can be used to scribe freeform lines, for example following a contour on the print, therefore providing new inspiration and ideas for packaging designers.

Laser-generated easy-open features, which can have as many as 50 holes/cm, provide a consistent opening force, avoiding the spills and even minor injuries that can result from the sometimes inconsistent quality of mechanically created opening features.

Lasers are also a useful tool against forgery.

The ability of the laser to produce consistent and accurate micron-sized holes in unique patterns provides enhanced protection against forgery in official documents such as passports.

Although a passport contains many complex security features, including bio-data, watermarks, hologram images and security details visible only under certain lighting conditions, the laser provides yet another level of protection.

Large sporting events such as World Cup Championships and the forthcoming London Olympics draw very large crowds, subsequently placing a heavy burden of responsibility for safety and security on the organisers.

At all major events of this type, security measures for officials, competitors, high-profile guests and employees have to be strict to ensure that only persons holding valid access passes are able to enter the venue or gain access to certain restricted areas.

Rofin has been involved in many high-profile events in recent years.

Rofin engineers work closely with the company chosen to produce the tickets and passes for a specific event, to define a pattern of perforations, some of which would be easily visible to the eye and some which would be much more difficult to detect.

These perforations increase the security features of the item, as only the event security staff would know of the presence and precise location of these very small holes, making official passes and tickets more difficult to counterfeit.

The perforation pattern generated by Rofin Lasers for a Championship Football Tournament was in the form of a football, with additional perforation holes and lines in the area of the pass which incorporated the owners photograph.

The laser perforations in this area made it impossible to remove the original picture without damaging the parent material.

A three-axis Galvo Head was used to cover the 300 x 300mm working area required for two passes.

Even with this large working envelope, the laser produced perforated holes as small as 200 microns and completed the perforation process for two tickets in one second.

For these reasons, Rofin claims that the millions of holes generated every day by Rofin lasers play a significant part in people’s everyday lives, from maintaining the freshness of food, to enhancing safety and security at country borders and at public events.

Rofin-Baasel UK Ltd is the UK sales and support subsidiary of Rofin Sinar Technologies Inc, which is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial lasers and is quoted on the USA NASDAQ stock exchange. Rofin makes lasers and laser systems for marking, welding, cutting, drilling and perforating and offers sources and solutions across all the main industrial laser technologies CO2, solid state and fibre lasers. Our lasers are employed in most manufacturing markets to give customers unprecedented results in terms of quality and throughput. We have over 30,000 installations in industries such as medical device, electronics, automotive, jewellery, tool and mould, aerospace and solar power. Examples demonstrating the range of capabilities of Rofin lasers include: * In-line packaging material manufacturers use our lasers to create ‘easy open’ perforated lines in packaging. * High street jewellers buy our microwelding workstations to make and repair jewellery. * Surgical tool and implant manufacturers produce clean and permanent identification marks on their products with Rofin markers. * Photovoltaic customers rely on laser operations from scribing to drilling to make solar panels and wafers. Rofin-Baasel welcomes the opportunity to show customers what lasers can do for them.

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