DNP Develops Packaging Materials with Increased Visibility
Laser-based printing makes best-by dates easier to read
Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.(DNP) and Kewpie Corporation have jointly developed a packaging material with increased visibility that in addition to making the "best-by" date easier to read, is also tamper-proof. The newly developed material also improves on existing ink and film to offer high-level laser printing at low costs, by. The newly created packaging material is being used by Kewpie Mayonnaise, and is expected to be steadily adopted by other products in the future.
Consumers have become increasingly aware of food safety and security following recent food fraud scandals. So far, food producers have used ink jet, and thermal transfer printing techniques to print "best-by" dates on the exterior of packaging materials, but friction and scratching can lead to blurring of the printed characters, and in some cases fears of tampering. A number of food makers already use laser printing, by laser-irradiating ink applied to the surface of packaging materials, but this has presented cost challenges. In order to overcome these challenges, DNP has upgraded ink materials, and by more rigorous selection of the film used, has been able to offer laser printing at low costs compared to currently available technology. As a result, the joint development partners have successfully produced a packaging material that boasts increased visibility.
- When the ink applied between the multiple film layers that comprise the packaging materials is irradiated with a laser, the color switches to black from white, facilitating easier printing.
- As printing is performed on ink on the inside of the film, there are no concerns that such information as "best-by" dates or product information may be erased, making the new format effective in the prevention of tampering or fraud.
- The ink used in laser printing is based on similar components to those in the ink used when printing other packaging materials, meaning it can be offered at lower costs than existing products, and at prices closer to those with standard packaging materials.
- The more rigorous selection of the film, and optimum design of the adhesive strength of the ink, also makes it possible to print in broader line-width than with existing laser printing. And as a result, concentration is boosted and visibility improved.
- There is no blurring of the print sometimes seen in ink jet printing formats, or smoke generated as sometimes occurs in thermal transfer printing, which means that manufacturing can be carried out in clean environments.
- Compared to ink jet and thermal transfer printing formats, there is no need for an ink ribbon, which helps reduce costs.
The new packaging has been adopted by Kewpie Mayonnaise (left) / Laser printed portion (right)
DNP and Kewpie Corporation will further promote efforts based on the safety and security of foods. DNP will market this new packaging, mainly to manufacturers of pharmaceutical products, aiming for sales of 500 million yen per annum.