Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Laser Application Helps Keep Bumble Bee Tuna Stay Fresh

Laser Photonics’ application engineers were recently contacted by Bumble Bee Tuna to improve the labeling of the expiration dates on their canned seafood products. The seafood giant was looking for the fastest and clearest way to mark these dates in order to increase production times and convey the information easily to customers.

Our engineers quickly found the solution by using a 20W Fiber Laser System to mark the expiration dates clearly onto the packaging itself without any damage. The dates were etched onto the thin plastic in one pass using a 160mm lens. This process can vary from etching 15 inches per second to 35 inches per second depending on the type of font being used. The average cycle time per can was .480 seconds. Using the same laser we can mark clearly on the different color packaging (Clear, black, green and blue) which will increase throughput of the production process. The clear marking will also ensure easy visibility for customers around the world reinforcing that Bumble Bee is the freshest canned seafood products in the industry.

“This is a very interesting application for our fiber laser systems” stated Ryan Semmer, Industrial Product Marketing Manager for Laser Photonics. “Clearly marked expiration dates are extremely important in the canned food industry, and now our lasers can help speed up the production while making it easier for the customer to read the information with a permanent mark. Our next step will be to quickly mark directly onto the can itself at these speeds."

The system used for this application is a 20W i-Series Fiber Laser Marker. The i-Series is available in Q-switch or CW configurations. It delivers a diffraction limited (M2<1.05)> 1.05) laser beam directly to the worksite via a metal sheathed single mode fiber cable. These compact service-free lasers are designed to operate under high shock, vibration and dust conditions, with relatively high humidity and temperatures. They do not require routine replacement parts or materials; they require only a low voltage power source. Wall-plug efficiencies up to 50% result in a compact size, reduced utilities, and trouble-free air cooling. Fiber-to-fiber architecture means a robust, monolithic design with no optics to align or maintain, no mechanics to stabilize, and with the focusable power and high power densities needed for the most demanding applications.

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About Laser Photonics: Laser Photonics is the industry leader in developing high-tech fiber and CO₂ laser systems for marking, cutting and engraving applications. Our systems are used by manufacturers in the automotive, aerospace, industrial, defense, electronic and medical industries around the world. For more information about our systems, please visit our website at or call us direct at 407-829-2613.

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