Many bakeries use laser equipment for the coding and marking of boxes. However marking bags consistently is more difficult due to the variable height and shape of bakery products.
Packmark claims the adoption of its DataLase process for bag marking by bakers would significantly reduce maintenance by standardising on one marking method across arange of applications.
"Air emissions from many of the inks and inkjet fluids involved in current bag marking processes contain a sufficient amount of air pollutants to trigger burdensome US Environmental Protection Agency requirements," the company claimed. " The use of DataLase Packmark eliminates these emissions."
The benefits include increased productivity and image stability for brand protection, the company said. Packmark can be used with flexible packaging, paper, board, plastics and metals.
Anne Giesecke, the ABA's vice president for policy analysis said the product would help its members meet environmental regulations and lower maintenance costs.
"DataLase Packmarkrepresents a significant step forward in meeting the increasing need for a greater amount of variable information to be applied to bread bags," she stated as quoted in a company press release. "That it achieves this in compliance with environmental laws and lower maintenance costs is positive."
In four field trials conducted by the ABA at a variety of bakeries, the time, date and expiration codes were laser marked on a blank white panel on the top and end of the bags.
The field trials were conducted as part of a project started by the ABA in February 2005 in response to the regulatory pressure put on bakers and their suppliers by strict environmental and food safety regulations requiring an ever-increasing amount of readable information to appear on baked food packages.
DataLase, one of the companies involved in the tests, said the date and code marking exercse involved 25 bakery companies and results confirmed the suitability of DataLase for use with the bags, commonly used by the industry.
"The success of the experiments additionally demonstrated that there is room for more applications involving the whole gamut of variable data such as security marking, special graphics, nutrition facts panels as well as ingredient and allergen information," the company stated in a press release.
The process requires no ink or ribbons. It combines chemistry, substrate conversion and very low power laser energy for the high speed printing of variable information on primary packaging.