Pharmaceutical and Food Marking and Coding
Labeling regulations range from average to strict standards across the globe. In recent years, some coding and marking aspects have become tighter in some regions around the world. These restrictions relate to the coding and marking of ingredients, places of origins, expiration dates, batch codes, and the like. Laser engraving systems are the most common form of marking and coding in the food and pharmaceutical industry. Here are some examples of how laser marking is used in these industries.
Plastic Drink Bottles
PET bottles are commonly used in the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries. Therefore, they all fall under the marking and coding categories. At one time, PET bottles were marked using ink-jet printers, but because of the costs of maintenance and operation, lasers marking is becoming the more common practice. Laser marking allows for white lettering on PET bottles, making this process ideal for serial number marking.
Labels are used on pharmaceutical bottles, boxes, and for packaging various beverage glass and plastic bottles. Labels used to be marked with rotating stamp machines, but today, laser marking is more efficient, faster, and precise for this application. Laser engraving/marking systems are more cost-effective over the old stamp machines because the stamp plates wear down over time or become more challenging to adjust in the stamping machine. The exact same fonts and styles of labels can be created using laser technology.
Expiration dates, lot numbers, GS1 DataBars, and other codes are important for pharmaceutical products. Some products had to be permanently marked like EAN codes. Due to revisions in the law, variable texts or codes are necessary over permanently marked items. Laser tech has a special method that peels off the permanent paint and marks the appropriate variable data that helps with compliance.
Capsules that are commonly used in pharmaceuticals are required to marked with letters and numbers related to the drug and its special data. Before lasers, a heated stamp was used to mark capsules. Laser marking machines create the perfect, precision mark for capsules using the perfect pressure without having to deal with adjusting the pressure on a stamping machine. Laser engraving machines have the ability to produce solid and stable markings.
2D Code Marking for Medical Implements
Medical implements that are used in surgeries are managed through the process of 2D codes marked right on the implement. The rules are to have clear, readable codes marked onto every medical implement. It takes a high-powered laser to produce the proper inscription on medical tools for compliance in the industry. Lasers have enhanced the efficiency and precision of medical implement marking.
Laser etching technology isn’t only good for marking and coding on pharmaceuticals and food packaging. It is also used to perforate packaging like rice bags used in pharmaceuticals and for die-cutting film used for various pharmaceutical packages.
Laser engraving systems are the ideal machines for marking and coding on pharmaceuticals, food, and beverage containers. The efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and streamlining effects that laser technology has had across the coding and marking industry is nothing short of revolutionary.
Article by Erryn Deane from Needham Coding
Needham Coding is a provider of laser etching machines.