The new Packmaster by SEI Laser makes it possible to perform any laser process on a variety of materials with extreme ease, and on the same machine, to satisfy present and future market demand. It can also be seamlessly integrated with existing converting lines.

SEI Laser (Curno, BG) has designed and built a laser system for flexible packaging applications that sets new standards in flexibility. With Packmaster, the same machine can perform cutting, kiss-cutting, marking, macro- and micro-perforation of paper, PE, PET, PP, nylon, PTFE and laminated films of various thicknesses. The operator need simply adjust the cutting speed and frequency parameters to switch between cutting a 60 g paper sheet and making an incision on 12 micron polyester. With speeds up to 400 m/min, depending on the dies and materials being processed, Packmaster enables creating packaging with facilitated opening, windows, breathing functions and those suitable for microwave cooking or with variable printed data at each printing stage, in order to satisfy the needs of the food & beverage, pet food personal care and grocery markets. Furthermore, this solution can be integrated into existing lines with extreme ease. This was illustrated in a recent demo organized by Nordmeccanica to present a solventless lamination unit with onboard laser. The demo created a paper packaging solution laminated with a transparent film window – in one step and with high precision and speed. At the event, Matteo Maffeis, head of flexible packaging, SEI Laser, pointed out some of Packmaster’s salient features.

An ultra-flexible “closed” system

«We can define Packmaster as a closed system», remarks Maffeis, «because it is equipped with a series of encoders that supply information on speed and job repeatability. These data are used to calculate how the cutting should be performed (for example for windowing), or the incision on plastic film (when talking about easy-open solutions, typically). Packmaster’s autonomy thus means that it can be installed today onto a lamination unit, tomorrow on a cutter, the day after on a printer and so forth, and this flexibility represents perhaps the most salient characteristic of our solution.»

Of course the configuration can vary according to the number of lasers and the web of the material to be processed. The system installed on the Nordmeccanica lamination unit shown during the demo, for example, consisted in two lasers, and the solution was complemented by a scrap vacuum and compacting system.

«This was an exciting collaboration», comments the manager, «by integrating the speeds and other functions of the two autonomous systems, we managed to integrate both the mechanics and the signals (emergency circuit, start signal, etc.), making the operator’s job far easier than it otherwise would be.»

An investment in tomorrow

With Packmaster we can make outlines of any shape, simply by importing the desired vector file. Furthermore, during the printing stage different types of processes can be performed, from cutting to perforation, incision and writing.

«For the business owner this represents an enormous advantage», explains Maffeis. «With the acquisition of Packmaster, they are investing in a system that enables them to satisfy market demand today but also that which may come tomorrow.»