The new coding, marking and printing technique was nominated by industry judges as one of the four finalists from over 70 nominations from a span of products, companies and developments. Combining chemistry, substrate conversion and laser energy, this groundbreaking technology uses very low power laser light for the high speed printing of images.
DataLase is a non-toxic and environmentally friendly ink, coating, or substrate 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.
Compared to more traditional coding and marking processes, it also has a higher fidelity. Imaging can also be formed through Polypropylene and Polyethylene films, allowing the image to be permanently imbedded or 'sandwiched' in laminates. The patented technique can be used for applications ranging from the coding and dating of products to the printing of graphics, and even security markings.
DataLase is equally suitable for metal decoration, flexible packaging, paper, board and plastics. Research is also underway into the marking of glass and confectionery or pharmaceutical tablets. Sherwood claims that the technology's versatility makes it ideal for a wide range of manufacturing, industrial, packaging and printing applications.
"We are extremely proud to have been awarded the accolade of having created one of the most significant developments in the food processing field over the past year," said Sherwood Technology managing director Steve Kelly. "Having our achievements recognised by the industry leaders makes all the hard work and dedication involved in inventing a revolutionary technique for the coding and marking of materials so worthwhile."
The awards, which honour excellence in the Food Processing industry, reward six categories for product of the year, company of the year, packaging of the year, technological development, Young Enterprise and Personality of the year.