Shorter product life cycles, an increasing trend towards customisation and a rising number of variations call
for flexible production technology and increasing flexibility in packaging processes. Conventional methods in
the shaping of packaging (e.g. thermoforming) cannot fulfil the requirements of form-related production steps
like sealing and forming. A leap in technology is necessary to counteract the demands of flexible production.
Such technology leap can be achieved through the implementation of laser technology. This technology offers the advantages of a force-free and non-contact energy transfer with a free choice of the programmed contour. These benefits of the laser beam have already enabled new, highly flexible production technologies (e.g. selective laser melting, laser beam welding). In the packaging technology, a laser-based solution also allows incremental heating and shaping of the foil to influence the wall thicknesses, thereby enabling material savings. The Fraunhofer IGCV has already produced first example products using laser-based thermoforming. The study aims are to determine the transferability of this technology to industry. For this, a potential evaluation of the laser technology in the packaging industry is executed. During the study the technical, as well as the economic aspects, are investigated due the following solution steps:
The generated contours and geometries should correspond to the packaging available on the market to ensure compliance with market requirements. For this purpose, members of the IVLV can contribute packaging examples, which are taken into account in the study.