"Higher quality, operational savings and much lower maintenance requirements"

North American Laser Systems Inc. has played a significant role in reducing the packaging footprint of a L'Oreal Canada packaging facility in Saint-Laurent, Quebec, while also delivering higher print quality, operational savings and much lower maintenance requirements.

"This was a very profound positive change for our operations," remarks Jean-Victor Pycke, Vice-President of Industry, praising the reliability and ease of operation of the Canlase laser coders employed throughout the facility to permanently mark and code not only the aluminum and plastic tubes inside the automated filling stations, but also to mark up the secondary packaging, primarily folding cartons, with all the essential product data further down the line.

"significant cost-savings by eliminating the
use of certain packaging materials such as labels"

"Not only have we achieved significant cost-savings by eliminating the use of certain packaging materials such as labels," he says, "we are eliminating a lot of ink and other consumables that could otherwise end up in landfills or out in the environment".

"We are very happy and comfortable with using laser coders in our operations," he says, "and we are glad this is one of those key technologies for our business that we can obtain from a Canadian supplier."

That's naturally music to the ears of North American Laser Systems, general manager Greg Griffin, who estimates to have supplied 24 Canlase coders to the Saint-Laurent plant over the last several years.

"They usually buy a couple of systems a year from us as their production requirements grow," says Griffin, saying each Canlase system shipped to L'Oreal is entirely custom-assembled and tested in Mississauga to full specs before it is installed inline at the plant.

"We do sell some off-the-shelf products, but for majority of our industrial clients our custom-design capabilities are almost as important as the systems' reliability and quality," says Griffin, also citing the likes of Colgate-Palmolive, General Motors and Magna as some of his company's more illustrious blue-chip clients.

"The thing that makes laser coders so reliable, compared to inkjet technology, is the fact that there are so few moving parts," he states.

"machine maintenance requirements are virtually nonexistent"

"You only have two mirrors and the carbon laser itself, so the machine maintenance requirements are virtually nonexistent," he says, adding that the Canlase coding systems are outfitted with all the required HEPA filters and vacuum-packed fume extractors to capture all emissions right at the source.

"They have been a very good supplier partner for us to work with," states Pycke, agreeing that the laser-based product marking method provides for far superior, virtually defect-free print quality than anything that inkjet systems could rival, especially when working with such hard-to-mark packaging as aluminum tubes.

And product coding systems developer North American Laser Systems Inc. as some of the plant's foremost "long-standing partners" in Canada.

Source: Canadian Packaging Magazine, April 2011

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