- Coding meets packaging design
EU Cosmetics Regulation
Cosmetic and skincare products are expected to have an embellishing effect and their packaging must therefore refl ect the product's high quality and appeal to customers in terms of design and functionality. KBA-Metronic presents its solutions for aesthetically sophisticated marking and coding.
Great importance has been placed on coding cosmetic product packaging since the introduction of the so-called EU Cosmetics Regulation in July 2013. Basically, the coding applied to cosmetic products must be non-smudge, easily readable and clearly visible on containers and packaging. All EU member states are obligated to display the batch number,nominal content, instructions for use, all ingredients and the best-before date.
There is normally a direct correlation between the price of product and the quality of the packaging. Metallized fi lm with a gold or silver fi nish and distinctive packaging shapes increase the perceived value of the consumer product. Dependingon the time of year, packaging is often shaped like Christmas trees, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or hearts.
Fixed product information, such as ingredients and instructions for use, are applied directly to the carton during production blending seamlessly into the design. Up until now applying the bestbefore date and the product code as a fl exible element of the sales packaging detracted from the overall effect created by the elaborately crafted packaging design.
"What catches the eye has the biggest infl uence on the purchasing decision. Markings which are legible but interfere with the aesthetic experience have no place on elaborately designed packaging," argues Koenig & Bauer Coding managing director Oliver Volland. However, new trends in marking and coding technologypermit a harmonious interplay between the packaging design and the coding. Oliver Volland: "Innovative technology from Koenig & Bauer Coding, such as laser printing along with special foil, varnish and ink opens up new creative horizons for packaging and product design."
Laser like printing
The laserSYSTEM series facilitates attractive marking on printed carton and foil. The technique is based on colour removal (ablation) and the laser beam applies markings with a very high level of precision. The colour of the foil underneath is exposed when some of the coating is selectively removed. This results in razor-sharp text, logos or patterns which are clearly legible even on small packaging. Colour removal is an attractive design option for the types of foil which are commonly used in the cosmetics industry. Product designers can make the marking blend in nicely with overall packaging design by tailoring the typography and colour of the expiration date and product code.
Besides the aesthetic considerations, lasers are also very economical. There are no consumables to purchase and no unforeseeable operating costs. The costs per product remain low and can be precisely calculated. Laser printing can take place while the products are in-motion so that the production line does not need to slow down. A camera can also be set up, for example for the recognition of 2D codes to verify the marking.
Contact-free marking of outer packaging
Until now labels had to be applied to secondary packaging. This can be avoided to a large extent with new laser technology. A laser markable varnish is applied during carton manufacturing or printing, either to an entire surface or as spot coating.
When the carton reaches the packaging line, a CO2 or fibre laser from Koenig & Bauer Coding causes the varnish the changecolour. Depending on the type of varnish used, laser-reactive colour pigments change colour from light to dark or dark to light when they are exposed to the beam. The technique works with most materials. Codes, images and extensive information about the ingredients can be placed on packaging at a low cost. The image is razor sharp and fulfils the most stringent demands in terms a readability.
The new laser technology eliminates the need for consumables on the production line, so no time is wasted changing ink, solvents, inking ribbons or labels. The only investment is the laser printing system and there are no unpredictable running costs.
A portfolio for any demand
The cosmetics industry can apply eyecatching coding and markings with the innovative marking systems from Koenig & Bauer Coding. Its portfolio includes inkjet, laser, thermal inkjet, thermal transfer, hot stamping and offline marking systems. The specialists from Koenig & Bauer Coding have the best system for the task at hand. Oliver Volland: "We can quickly react to changing trends and offer customized solutions thanks to our raft of various coding and marking systems."