Application Case Study Laser Marking Aluminum Can Lids
With more than twenty years of experience in manufacturing aluminum "Easy Open Ends", the Chinese Guangdong Transhell Packaging Company, Ltd. is among the three leading can parts suppliers in China. Transhell's annual capacity has reached more than five billion pieces.* As an approved supplier of various well-known brands with first-class production lines, Transhell put high demands on the marking of their aluminum can caps – not only regarding quality and contrast of the applied 2D codes, but particularly regarding efficiency and economy of their high-speed large-batch production.
For their customers, Transhell as an OEM supplier, marks aluminum beverage can lids with 2D codes and Chinese characters. The 2D codes are applied underneath the lids as well as on the outside. By opening the lid, the end-user discovers a lottery game QR code. By scanning this QR-code with a mobile device, the customer can take part in a competition.
In order to accomplish a most efficient high-speed batch processing, Transhell placed high demands: The required marking speed per part was expected to be at least 25 milliseconds or even shorter. Only so, the laser marker would be able to keep up with the highest possible speed of cap production on the market, enabling a throughput of 750 parts per minute.
Beside high speed requirements, the marking laser also had to fulfill best quality standards. Though very small, the 31 digit codes on a 7 x 7 millimeter area, applied on colored aluminum by laser paint removal, have to allow for fast and easy scannability by the end-user.
Code positioning was a topic too. Each code has to be applied in the right position on the can lid. The marking process was expected to be robust and stable without requiring timeconsuming maintenance: Reliable marking results throughout the entire high-speed production process had to be guaranteed.
A high-capacity laser marker was expected to fulfill the exceeding requirements of can lid marking with complex scannable contents. Transhell decided to choose a system with minimum marking time per piece, stable results in the long run and best mark contrast for enhanced producitivity in high-speed line production.
- FOBA sales and application engineers already had good project experience with aluminum can marking, so that they were able to offer compelling marking results during the sampling process.
- The marking solution offered, utilizing the recently released FOBA Y.1000 high-power fiber laser marker, proved to be the most effcient and 30 percent faster, compared to other suppliers. It was the only marking system which could match the highest speed of cap press production on the market.
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