Innovation in coding technology continues to become more computerized and integrated into the production line. Laser coding is mostly used to differentiate products and mark them accordingly. Laser coding functions by removal of surface coating from the packaging or product; this results in permanent changes in the surface of the product. Laser coding is a non-contact printing method and ensures quality marking. In laser technology, the galvanometer enables laser coding and making mark on moving or static products.
Laser coding can be done on various materials such as glass, paper, foils, plastic, cardboard, coated metals, etc. Laser coding does not contain any inks or chemicals; it is cost-efficient and a low maintenance and eco-friendly method for marking the product. The laser coder software allows users to do barcoding, change and delete text easily, add graphics, etc. The substitutes for laser coders are continuous inkjets and thermal inkjets. In packaging, laser coding is usually used for marking serial or batch number, expiry dates, etc. Laser coding is done in the end after the production process. The laser coder is used for marking various materials in the packaging industry, such as paper, cardboard, and polymers.
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The major laser coding types are CO2 lasers, fiber lasers, and vanadate lasers. CO2 lasers include carbon dioxide gas mixture, and are mostly applied on non-metallic materials and on most plastics. They are suited for wood, glass, textiles, foils & films, stone, acrylic, paper, plastics and leather. Fiber lasers are solid state lasers; they are used for contrasting plastic marking and metal marking. They are suited for coated metals, metals, and plastics. Vanadate lasers (Crystal laser) can emit 3 different wavelengths and are suited for ceramics (to some extent), metals, plastics, and coated metals. Domino Laser GmbH is the largest international producer of laser coders; the company has presence in the U.S., Europe, North America, and China.
The global laser coders market is segmented based on product type, application, and geography. By product type, the global laser coder market is segmented into CO2 lasers, fiber lasers, Nd:YAG flash lamp (solid state), Nd:YAG diode pumped, and vanadate lasers. By end user, the global laser coder market is segmented into food and beverages, cosmetics, personal and home care, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, tobacco, automotive and aerospace, building materials, chemicals, commercial printing and addressing, electrical components and electronics, and wire, cable and pipe.
The growth opportunities for players in the laser coders market growth lie in bringing innovation in terms of the faster execution of coding and that too on a wider range of products, and in producing products that are cost effective and occupy less space. There is an increasing need for high quality marking with improved traceability being witnessed across the globe, which in turn is expected to drive growth of the laser coder market over the forecast period. However, advances in coding and marking applications are still limited and the capital cost incurred on the same is high, in turn acting as restraints for the market growth. Consumables and maintenance costs are low in case of laser coders, which are among the major factors expected to further drive growth of the laser coder market over the forecast period. Meanwhile, the FDA is increasingly demanding permanent identifying mark solutions from the manufacturers in view of improving the product traceability, thereby creating further growth opportunity for the players operating in the market.