Ricoh demonstrated a range of inline laser imaging systems, including a monochrome fibre-coupled laser diode array (F-LDA) prototype printer, at drupa 2016.
F-LDA is a process that uses labels with a colour change pigment activated by laser to essentially ‘print’, in high quality and high speed, at the point of filling or packaging.
'The implications,’ said Jacques van Wyk, COO of Ricoh SA, ‘are minimal waste and returns since the printing is done at the point of filling or packaging and can be changed at any time, so there aren’t any pre-printed labels sitting on store room shelves waiting to become obsolete. That also reduces stock keeping units (SKU) because you don’t need to keep pre-printed labels on hand. And it’s a tried and tested technology since it’s already used to produce four billion products and packs a year.’
F-LDA integrates with existing production lines and avoids excessive investment costs. It can increase packer line speeds by 30% over toner and inkjet systems and can print at two metres per second with just one laser.
Key benefits of the technology include:
- Use existing supply chain assets.
- Printer and converter do not need to invest in capital-intensive new equipment.
- Creates new marketing opportunities with full variable data and colour.
- Is inkless at the point of printing.
Ricoh F-LDA uses DataLase technology. The revolutionary solutions enhance quality, operational efficiency, and maximise brand owner and retailer real-time marketing effectiveness.
Dr. Chris Wyres, CEO of DataLase said, ‘These [solutions] can bring true real-time marketing capability to brands and change the way they print packaging and interact with consumers.’
The laser imaging solution enables customers to print personalised communication on various materials such as paper, carton, plastics and more, inline. This leads to a faster time to market while engaging, personalised communication with consumers and brand promotions. Moreover, a significant increase in productivity, process optimisation, and cost reduction through SKU minimisation can be achieved.