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Rofin’s Web-Movement Compensation (WMC) system enables complete compensation of web movement during laser perforation of packaging materials.

Operating across a comprehensive speed range, from 0 to greater than 500m per minute, the system significantly improves productivity while at the same time cutting waste.

Higher production speeds increase profitability.

When a laser pulse hits fast-moving material, the quality of the resultant hole is not always as required.

If pulse duration and web speed exceed certain values, the holes become visibly oval and there may also be insufficient energy available to completely perforate the material.

In many cases, material produced at high speed is not of the accuracy required to allow the specified air exchange for the packaging and is therefore deemed unusable.

Historically, to overcome this issue, the web speed is reduced, resulting in higher production costs.

Rofin’s WMC system dramatically cuts material waste, allowing previously unattainable web speeds to be achieved, in some cases quadrupling previous performance.

WMC technology also allows satisfactory perforation of materials that previously could not have been processed at profitable rates, such as thick films (more than 100 microns) or films comprising of sophisticated material combinations.

The shelf-life of perishable food has a great influence on its value.

The freshness of these products is largely determined by air-ventilation and the preservation of humidity within the packaging.

Packaging technology demands precise control of perforations, as the ability to control and optimise the hole dimensions can further enhance the shelf life of fresh-food products.

This means less waste, lower costs and ultimately more attractive pricing for the customer.

The growth in markets such as health foods and snacks has driven the requirement for attractive presentation and extended shelf life for organic fruit, vegetables, nuts, dried fruit and cereals.

An additional requirement has also arisen for multi-chamber trays used for multi-component snacks.

For these products, each chamber requires perforating differently to optimise the storage life of the ingredients within that particular chamber.

The consistency and quality of the perforations produced using Rofin’s WMC system enhance the performance of packaging used for these applications, ultimately extending shelf life.

Rofin’s new WMC system was developed in conjunction with customers, with trials being run under real winding conditions to determine the optimum laser and process parameters for the application.

The company’s CO2 systems business unit, located in Starnberg, can supply both the laser source and a complete solution.

Rofin uses its own laser sources as a starting point and matches them with optics, scanner heads, machines and software to provide the optimum technical solution.

A graphical user interface allows user-friendly control of the entire system, including previews of possible perforation and scribing speeds.

The Starperfo Advanced is the latest product offering from Rofin for the packaging sector.

It uses Rofin’s WMC system to achieve complete compensation of web movement during laser processing of packaging materials, producing the precise and repeatable perforated holes required.

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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