How does Laser Etching work?

Industrial laser etching on cardboard is a non-contact, efficient, and eco-friendly method. Furthermore, it can print expiry dates, QR codes, lot codes, and more directly on the product surface. It works by using a focused laser beam to create precise, high-contrast marks on the cardboard. Despite of highly intense laser beam, it does not cause damage or deformation to the cardboard.

Industrial laser marking on cardboard

  1. Choosing the appropriate laser:
    CO2 laser for etching on paper and cardboard materials due to their ability to produce high-quality marks with minimal damage to the substrate. The wavelength of CO2 lasers suits well for absorbing energy from organic materials like cardboard, which results in efficient and clean marking.
  2. Generating the design:
    Specialized software to create design, text, or code (such as an expiry date, QR code, or lot code). The software thereafter forwards the digital design to the laser system controller.
  3. Focusing the laser beam:
    The laser system particularly focuses the beam onto the cardboard surface for etching. This usually happens through a series of lenses or mirrors. The focused laser beam has a very high energy density, which enables it to selectively remove or alter the top layer of the cardboard material.
  4. Etching the cardboard:
    As the laser beam moves across the cardboard surface, it vaporizes or ablates the top layer of the material, creating precise and high-contrast markings. The process does not involve any ink or chemicals, making it an environmentally friendly option.

Advantages of using laser etching on cardboard

Laser etching is suitable for various applications, including marking on boxes of tobacco, perfumes, cereals, and many other products.

  • High precision and quality: Creates accurate, legible, and durable markings, even on small or intricate designs.
  • Fast processing speeds: Suitable for high-speed production lines, ensuring efficient operations.
  • Non-contact method: Laser etching printers do not physically touch the cardboard surface. Overall, it reduces the risk of damage or deformation to the packaging.
  • Eco-friendly: Eliminates the need for inks, solvents, and other consumables, reducing waste and environmental impact.

In general, laser etching is an effective marking technique for manufacturers looking to code on nonporous products.