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Sherwood Technology's Revolutionary Virtual Labelling Technique Provides Significant Benefits to Converters and their Customers

Published on 2005-01-21. Author : SpecialChem

Sherwood Technology, the colour change specialist, has created an opportunity to add significant value to printed packaging. This radical new system removes the need for the application of variable data print and apply labels in the distribution chain by incorporating a laser responsive coating or ‘virtual label’ into packaging materials such as cartons, cases and overwraps. For packaging suppliers and printers this creates the potential for added value, increased sales, market share, and product differentiation whilst resulting in considerable cost reduction and productivity gains for their customers.

DataLase™ is a non-toxic and environmentally friendly ink, coating or additive that produces a positive, image when marked by a low power CO2 laser. The ink, coating or additive undergoes a simple chemical colour change and creates an image that is stable and has high contrast. The laser is generally installed on the packing/filling line for variable information applications such as date and bar coding.

Sherwood's low cost, high quality 'Virtual Label'is simple to integrate into the base material or printing process. DataLase™ is incorporated into, or coated onto the substrate during its manufacture. Alternatively, the Converter can introduce DataLase™ by either a patch printing or flood coating process, DataLase™ being compatible with the majority of printing and coating processes. The resulting laser responsive surface becomes an integral part of the packaging, and unlike conventional labels will not peel or fall off. Then, on the packaging line high reliability, low power CO2 lasers rapidly produce images such as barcodes, logos and graphics directly onto the pre-treated surface.

Since the launch of the DataLase™ virtual labelling system, packaging professionals in the Pharma, Food and Beverage, Tobacco, Homecare, Cosmetic and other FMCG sectors have been quick to recognise the potential benefits to their businesses. Traditional labelling technologies rely on high maintenance thermal transfer or ink jet printers to produce variable print and apply data labels which have high consumable costs, such as labels and ink or ribbons.

Many of these brand manufacturers already use low level Laser marking for date coding, and are now expressing great interest in running production trials with virtual labelling. Sherwood has forged strong links with all of the major Laser vendors and has embarked on a programme of licensing its technology in this field.

Andrew Jackson, Applications Marketing Manager, Sherwood Technology, comments: "We are already seeing a great interest in the potential use of DataLase™ for a variety of applications such as date coding, graphics printing and even brand protection. Our virtual label concept can benefit both the end user, who can eliminate labelling from his production processes, and also to the convertor with a potential new income stream. Our goal is to find printers and packaging suppliers who are prepared to work with us to integrate this technology into their conversion processes and offer virtual labelling to the end user"

Source: Sherwood Technology


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