Beverage Industry Laser Systems

Manufacturers of beverages (soft drinks and mineral water, wines and spirits, beers, ciders and alcopops, fruit juices, etc) must code the packaging of their products.

The specifics of the code depend on national or other legislation but generally a lot code and a best before date are required.

Lasers are used to apply such codes because of their ability to mark paper and board, glass and the plastics typically used in packaging.

They are an attractive alternative to inkjet (continuous and thermal) because they are clean, reliable and low cost.

Case Studies : Alcoa Csi

CSI used Imaje CIJ printer and consumables and service costs were very high. The CIJ printer didn’t allow print a roundabout message inside the closure.

We proposed to print the message using Macsa laser system but after the first test we found that no laser permitted to have a contrast marking on the liner inside the closure. Then we proposed to use special additive to the plastic which is sensitive to the laser emission of 1,06 um wavelength. After the second test we managed to print it. Macsa created a special software compatible with client’s database. After 1 year from sending samples Macsa F-9050 laser system was successfully integrated into the product line.

Once invested into the Macsa laser system CSI has a perfect marking and has forgotten about consumables costs. Thanks to the large range of laser applications CSI now is able to satisfy inquiries of even hard-to-pleased customers like Coca-Cola and PEPSI.

Market: Beverage
Application: Plastic closures
Substrate: Plastic liner inside the closure
Laser System: Macsa F-9050 with Marca software, Database software developed by Macsa
Lens: 150x150 mm
Size: Ø27mm
Dynamic application: Marking the unique promo-code from the customer’s database on the liner inside the closure for Promo activities. 40 m/min equivalent to 1200 pcs/min
Size of message: roundabout message with 16 characters, 3 mm height
Example of message: 936E74L46RA979PM

CSI is one of the leading suppliers of closure and capping systems to the global beverage and food industries. CSI is a major supplier to global soft drink, juice, bottled water, dairy, beer, food, liquor, pharmaceutical, personal care, Automotive Fluids and other markets. CSI integrates innovative closure technology, high-performance capping machinery and global technical support and training services. They produced over 68 billion closures worldwide in 2003.

Case Studies : Bacardi España, S.A. (Martini)

In this dynamic application for Martini, a lot number is coded in several label formats. The Macsa K-1010 plus laser marks on the different labels provided; excellent contrast is achieved, especially on the black surface label.

Market: Beverage
Application: Labels
Substrate: Paper
Laser system: K-1010 PLUS
Lens: 100x100mm

Bacardi Limited is one of the largest spirits companies in the world. It produces, markets and distributes a variety of internationally recognized premium spirits. Its portfolio includes more than 200 brands and labels of rum, vodka, whisky, gin, vermouth and tequila products, among others, most of which are sold on a global basis.

Its main core brands include BACARDI rum, GREY GOOSE vodka, DEWAR'S Blended Scotch whisky, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin, ERISTOFF vodka, CAZADORES tequila and MARTINI vermouth.

Bacardi Limited has a presence in more than 100 markets worldwide including, the United States, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Germany, Italy and Russia. Expansion has been prioritized in the emerging markets of India, China and Brazil.

Case Studies : Distilhäuser Brauerei, Germany

The K-1060 Plus SHS split was installed on a Krones labeler Solomatic. Both the control box and the laser tube are installed on the plant. Over an approximately 1 meter long tube of the marking head is installed in front of the bottle plate.

A stainless steel housing was mounted around the beam guide tube and the print head, due to the humid environment.

Similarly, a lens holder made of stainless steel has been installed. With these measures, a perfectly good function of the K-1060 is guaranteed. It is operated via an IP Touch terminal. The labels are marked directly on the bottle.

Market: Beverage
Application: Marking labels on the Bottles.
Substrate: metallized labels
Laser system: K-1060 Plus SHS Split head
Lens: 75x75 mm
Dynamic application: 90m/min, 45.000 pcs/h
Size of message: 1 lines of Text, 7 Characters Lot and time “XXXMMHH”, 4 Characters Expiry date “MM.YY”, 3 mm high

In Tauberbischofsheimer district Distelhausen it is located the Distelhäuser brewery. Since 1876, the brewery is owned by the Bauer family. With almost 185,000 hectoliters of annual production this middle sized brewery trusted on MACSA laser systems to trace their products.

Case Studies : Fontaga

Fontaga, S.A. has 5 water bottling production lines. Until now, they have been using Imaje ink-jet system. They have extended the format of their product to a new bottle of 8 litres, that’s the reason why they have looked for new coders in the market.

Macsa offered Fontaga to use the laser technology for marking its products, concretely the F-1010 SP laser system. In order to convince them, we gave them a comparative table of costs for the three first years of consumption between an inkjet system and a laser system (including maintenance). In this table they could appreciate that in two turns of work per day, the cost related to the inkjet system is almost the double than the laser one.

Their production goes up to 11,000 bottles per hour: the speed of the line is 28 m/s. They mark onto PET bottles of 1,5 litres. The mark consists of two lines of 20 digits in total.

Fontaga chose our laser system MACSA F-1010 SP, because in the day we presented the offer, we made a demonstration onto the table of the meeting room with the new demo pack, so the customer could observe the facility, robustness and simplicity in the handling of our laser system. That demo was the key to convince Fontaga to trust in our laser system.

Mr Esteve Viñas y Soler, Fontaga’s General Manager, expresses his satisfaction: “Macsa’s laser technology has meant a significant and successful change to our company. Due to the fact that we do not need consumables anymore, it implies important savings. Apart from this, we have shown preference for Macsa laser systems because of their easy maintenance and their reliability”.

Market: Beverage
Application: Water bottles
Substrate: PET
Laser system: F-1010 SP equivalent to K-1010 SP net

About FONTAGA S.A. (Aigua de Ribes)
Fontaga, S.A. sells huge quantities of bottled mineral de water (Aigua de Ribes), which is presented in the following formats: 8 litres, 5 litres, 1.5 litres and 330 cc.

Case Studies : Juvé&Camps

Its worldwide reach provides logistical challenges, not least the traceability of its products in all the different markets it serves. As with many high value consumer products, grey marketing (unauthorized cross-border selling) is a key issue which it has to addressed.

For these reasons, Juvé & Camps decided that they needed a traceability code on each of the bottles which, via an internal database, could verify the country to which the bottles were assigned, as well as providing other kind of information such as batch, manufacturing date, etc.

Juvé & Camps had traditionally used ink-jet systems to code bottles for their domestic market, as well as batches destined for export. The problem they increasingly encountered, however, was that the ink was easily removed from the glass. It was for this reason that they decided to use laser coding to provide permanent traceability code.

Macsa installed two lasers (one Dynamark 30W and one Flymark 30W) to mark the bottles prior to their entry to a bailing machine, where there was also a label applicator connected to a PC.

Juvé & Camps, a prestigious producer of wines and cavas, placed their trust in the reputation and technological capabilities of Macsa, and now have a reliable, secure system for tracking and tracing their premium products from their origin in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia in Spain. Such was their confidence in Macsa’s leading edge solutions that they have extended their partnering with Macsa to further laser and labeling systems, as their worldwide presence and production demands grow.

Market: Beverage
Application: Coding on cava and wine bottle
Substrate: Glass
Laser system: Dynamark 30w and Flymark 30w equivalent to K-1030 PLUS
Dynamic application: Between 2500 and 6500 bottles per hour
Size of message: 12 character, single line numerical code. The code contains: batch, season, bottling date, customer code, and other internal production data.

Juvé & Camps is a leading producer of cavas and wines, exporting its premium products around the world.

Case Studies : Pepsi Cola, Aquafina

Pepsi Cola began using laser marking and coding technology some time ago, given the inherent benefits that this emerging form of product identification offered such as the elimination of consumables, and less onerous maintenance requirements.

The continuous growth in sales volumes of their Aquafina factory plant in Cairo, Egypt, were increasing also the spendings on product identification whose machinery reliability and operational costs were onerous. This emerging situation finally incited the company to make a change, and as a first step in their on-going improvements to coding systems, they opted for the installation of a Macsa laser, which they were sure would provide them with better code quality, fewer concerns and operational headaches, and also lower costs of ownership.

A particular challenge with mineral waters is that they are often cold-filled, as is the case with Aquafina, a situation which produces condensation, which in turn means that codes need to be applied to wet material, which causes significant problems for ink-based solutions. This does not however present a problem for Macsa lasers, which provide for easy, permanent, excellent quality, high definition marking, thanks to its Crystal Font capabilities. This software increases maximum coding speeds and enhances code legibility on transparent substrates such as PET.

Pepsi Cola have been hugely impressed with the quality of the coding achieved with Macsa lasers, and are very satisfied with their reliability and low cost of ownership.

Market: Beverage
Application: Coding on 0.5 and 1.5 liter water bottles
Substrate: PET
Laser system: FS-1010 Plus (9,3 microns).
Size of message: Two-line message of 15 characters per line
Dynamic application: Production line working between 12.000 and 18.000 bottles / hour

PepsiCo is a global food and beverage leader with net revenues of more than $65 billion with a diverse product portfolio that includes 22 brands that each generates more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales. Their products can be found in nearly 200 countries around the globe.

Pepsi Cola is the number one soft drinks brand in Egypt, and has continuously added new products to its range there. The mineral water Aquafina, for example, was launched in the USA in 1994, and was made available to Egyptian consumers as soon as 1997. Since its debut, Aquafina has won over customers with its great taste and purity, and has been one of America’s best-selling national brands of bottled water.

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