The PerfoTec PT-100 laser is a perforating system that adjusts the number of laser perforations per package according to feedback from testing product in a respiration meter. In this way, variations can be made to the perforations to meet the specific respiration requirements of individual fresh products to be packaged, making this system particularly suitable for modified atmosphere packages.
The system comprises two parts, a laser perforation unit with monitoring camera that checks the hole size, ensuring continual accuracy, and a respiration meter. The meter measures rates of respiration, sends data to a website and within 4 h the results are entered into the automatic Oxygen Transmission Rate software determining the size and number of perforations to be used on the plastic film.
Recent research findings indicate that film permeability must be considered as a critical control point for quality and shelf life. With this online system it is possible to finetune the fresh produce requirements making variations in permeability at the point of packaging.
The PerfoTec laser has been developed to integrate with either vertical or horizontal packaging machines, used by professional fresh produce processors, as well as flexible film converting machines.
One key advantage of the laser is the ability to make very small holes, down to 30 - 40 µ in diameter, achieved by a special laser beam equaliser. With this instrument, the very small micro perforations are made with high consistency, which is especially important for salads and ready-meal salads because of the low respiration of these products.
Due to the improvement in quality and extension in shelf life being achieved from 1 to 7 days, along with the option for full traceability labels, this laser system has seen a good uptake amongst European fresh produce processors. It is now available in Australia.