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18 Oct 2018
LasX SRTP laser converting unit
Laser engineering specialist LasX will be showing its LaserSharp technology with integrated robotic functionality at the upcoming PackExpo show in Chicago.
By combining laser cutting with robotics, the company is extending the digital workflow to include pick and place functionality. Adding robotic arms for material handling allow the finished parts to be removed from the waste then separated, stacked and counted in a single process. This is done inline by using the same data that drives the laser, which registers to a printed 2D barcodes in the margin of the substrate. Job parameters for both the laser and robot are contained in a single working file and can be changed on the fly.
'Digital print has a tendency to float, which is why we register to a barcode,' explained vice president of business development Dave Pung. 'Our Instant Order Change feature allows the laser to follow this barcode for perfect registration, so there is no waste and we can offer orders of one.'
Mr Pung added, 'By stacking the product ready for the customer at the point of converting, we have eliminated a number of downstream steps. Shipping the exact right amount is always difficult, but this technology combines several processes and cuts out a lot of waste and time.'
The company has been integrating robots for eight years, gaining experience in a number of sectors beyond labels and packaging. The new machine to be shown at PackExpo is the SRTP (sheet/roll-to-part) model, which will be converting folding cartons, showcasing both the power of laser cutting, with its capabilities of added intricate scoring and cutting patterns, and the advantages of robotics.