13th December. Posted in Insights.

How has the coding and marking supply chain evolved in recent times to meet the new dynamics and demands of a post-pandemic world?  

As any manufacturer or producer knows, it seems that not only does the supply chain have to cope with time-varying or dynamic demands, increasing uncertainty created by events such as the Covid-19 pandemic, has made the task of satisfying customers even more challenging.

Notwithstanding this, all businesses know that efficiency in the production environment is critical for competitiveness and only by making proactive quantitative improvements to their process will they yield the returns needed to secure competitive advantage, as well as consumer loyalty and long-term business success.

As flexible, fast reacting technology, laser coding delivers exceptional results for modern production environments that demand superior coding and marking quality, with minimal servicing and maintenance requirements. The technology can be applied at the latest stage in the product supply chain, typically at the point of packing and filling, thereby enabling the supply chain to be responsive and flexible to changes in consumer demand, and ensuring that the most relevant and up to date variable information is printed without the additional waste that excessive SKUs often bring.

As a further initiative to reassure the supply chain in a post-pandemic world, DataLase has developed a new antibacterial coating, which will help make an important contribution to reducing bacterial transmission on DataLase printed surfaces that face multiple touch points in the supply chain. The launch of this new coating shows how the company has the flexibility to adapt to change and provide a quick response to support customers in challenging times.


What makes DataLases offering unique and what is it an alternative technology to?

As an alternative to traditional printing technologies such as print and apply labels, high resolution inkjet and ablation, our patented revolutionary coding and marking technology fundamentally changes the way businesses can approach printing key variable information on products and packaging.

By using a laser and one of a range of different coatings, variable data can be printed, such as batch numbers, dates or barcodes and/or QR codes, this inkless printing process is called Photonic Printing.

What makes our offing unique:

  • It assists CSR initiatives through packaging reduction
  • More substrate choice, including the use of thinner film constructs
  • The ability to eliminate primers or topcoats typically used for thermal paper
  • The ability to work with synthetic labels
  • It eliminates the risk of product odour contamination
  • The technology delivers 100% verifiable codes, meaning higher visual recognition readability rates and a robust track & trace solution that creates less product recall/rework
  • Faster coding, enabling productivity increase and the ability to print more information
  • Improvements to overall equipment effectiveness meaning less frequent fume extraction filter change, reduced unscheduled downtime, elimination of consumables from production environments and minimal preventive maintenance
  • Permanent coding, which can provide print under barrier laminate surfaces, a solution that is tamper-proof and anti-counterfeit, impossible to remove and ideal for consumer labels that get wet/oily during normal use or need a higher level of secure coding
  • Being able to improve packaging design and integrity by removing ablation area
  • Having the ability to print codes anywhere on the products or packaging


DataLase has a strong history of innovation, how do you ensure your technology stands out from the competition?

DataLase has an enviable track record of creating innovative and technically advanced solutions to some of the major issues faced by supply chains across the globe. With production environments becoming increasingly challenging, both brand owners and converters alike are demanding more robust, high contrast data coding to ensure compliance, security and traceability of products and packaging.

Our coding solutions are highly innovative, providing food and beverage, home and personal care, industrial and pharmaceutical brands with the benefits of an efficient laser marking system, delivering variable data on wide range of substrates. The technology, which consistently outperforms other coding solutions, also offers a real-time marketing capability that equips brand owners with the ability to fine-tune their traditional large-scale marketing campaigns to a more personalised, one to one level, keeping the consumer engaged while encouraging repeat business.

As a further endorsement of the technology, we recently had our water-based coatings approved for Swiss Ordinance (commonly known as ‘Swiss Listing’). Swiss Listing means that they not only comply with the most stringent European packaging regulations, they also continue to meet customers’  demands for the very highest quality in product formulation.

Our global reach is impressive, with over 300 granted patents through filings in Europe, USA and Asia. The patents typically cover technologies across our laser-active chemistry and coatings, as well as high speed laser systems.

Coatings innovation continues to keep DataLase’s technical expertise in focus, as we are routinely launching new coatings to improve production environments and supply chain efficiencies. Recent releases have included:

  • A new antibacterial coating, which we believe will help make an important contribution to reducing bacterial transmission on printed packaging surfaces
  • UV offset (UVO) litho metal decoration coating, designed for use on offset litho presses equipped with UV curing units.
  • A range of water based flexographic (WBF) high humidity coatings aimed at paper and corrugated printing industries where high humidity and rub resistance is a factor in post-print processes.


How easy is it to use DataLase solutions for printers/convertors?

Through the use of a combination of conventional and digital printing, Photonic Printing involves a simple two-step printing process.

First of all, during the conventional printing process of generic artwork, for example flexography or gravure, DataLase laser-reactive coating is laid down in a patch format on to a substrate, such as corrugate, folding cartons, flexible films, labels, metal decoration, or even included as part of the manufacturing process as a plastic masterbatch. Then, at the latest point in the product supply chain i.e. at the point of packing or filling, the pre-printed patch is exposed to specific laser wavelengths, which activates the coating to print variable data or graphics as required.


What benefit does adding DataLase to your product portfolio bring?

DataLase is leading the way with technology to generate high quality coding directly on products and packaging, without interruption to production lines. The technology helps deliver a range of benefits including consistently high-quality coding, robust quality control processes, optimised productivity and reduced costs.

Typically, our customers have removed a process whilst increasing operational efficiencies, including the important elimination of environmental waste, which emphasises the sustainability of the DataLase process. Sustainability is a vitally important issue for the print, label and packaging industry. No longer a brand-differentiating USP, environmental responsibility is now considered a necessity, as consumers and the wider market all demand more from processes, practices and products. As a leader in coding and marking printing solutions, we recognise this and actively promote a range of sustainable advantages to meet 21st century consumer needs.


Where can you purchase DataLase products? 

We can be contacted directly through our contact page for purchase enquiries, or through one of our many global distribution partners.