Parkside, UK and Asia based speciality-packaging supplier, is bidding to become a leading-edge designer of flexible and rigid packaging solutions with its investment in laser scribing technology at its UK headquarters.

The Parkscribe® laser scribing solution can be used for a variety of applications from easy-open flexible packaging to easy-peel vented lidding for ready meal packs. The use of laser scribing of flexible film substrates replaces the need for costly tear strips, zips and closures in packs and can be used to create an integral opening, of any size, shape or position, as part of a pack design.

In line with latest packaging trends, the Parkscribe laser technology is usable on both film and flexible laminates and creates easy open functionality, as well as enabling the design of reclosable packs. Reclosability is an attractive feature for the rigid tray sealing packaging sector in particular, where it is popular for multi-compartment packs, which are continuing to grow in demand.

Paula Birch, Parkside head of sales, said: "We've seen an upswing in business from retailers and packers for packaging designed with consumer convenience front of mind.

"Despite the end of the recession, consumers are still incredibly budget conscious and are looking for packs that they can reclose for storage or portion control purposes, which has become known as the 'eat me / keep me' trend. We've also seen demand for 'straight to table' packaging solutions where multi compartment trays with easy peel and reclosability fits really well.

"Looking at our own data, most of the new clients we work with are either focussing on convenience or sustainability, in terms of key criteria for new pack launches. Of course, it's always about pack differentiation on shelf to attract consumer sales but at the end of the day new pack designs need to be cost efficient and have the environment at the core of the design considerations.

"Parkscribe goes a long way to meeting these needs in terms of a reduction in material use and packing efficiency, therefore reducing the comparative pack carbon footprint, whilst delivering effective convenience design."

The Parkscribe technology can be used on a wide range of film materials and one or both sides of a film can be lasered. Where the top layer of a laminate is lasered, an easy tear feature can be incorporated into a substrate as a benefit for the consumer. Food safe pressure sensitive adhesives can also be used to form a label opening within a laminate.

Duplex and triplex lamination capability at Parkside delivers unique flexible packaging functionality options for brand owners and retailers. Multiple coaters and laminators deliver oxygen, moisture and gas barrier performance, as well as highly unique compostable flexible packaging designs.

Over the past 12 months, Parkside has upgraded its innovation team and product development strategy to offer a new proposition for brands and retailers. Customers can work collaboratively with the aptly named APEX Innovation team and the laser technology allows the 'Advanced Packaging Experts' to develop bespoke pack openings that create differentiated pack aesthetics and functionality; all with the ultimate aim of creating shelf stand out and profitable retail sales.

Steve McCormick, Parkside innovation director, said: "By reducing the need for inclusion of tear strips and zips, laser scribing reduces pack manufacturing costs by increasing line speeds and reducing material usage. This ultimately reduces the carbon footprint of a pack for the packer and retailer and that's all in addition to the consumer benefits. The reclosable packs give shoppers better flexibility for when and how much they eat, reducing food waste through improved storage and portion control.

"From film easy peel and reclose systems to compostable laminates, from printed vacuum skin packs through to high value added embedded image technology, Parkside is becoming a true technology integrator and meeting the needs of a wide range of packers and retailers."

Excelling in flexographic printing has been at the core of Parkside's philosophy for many years and Parkside has probably been best known for its tobacco packaging capabilities. However, 2015 saw Parkside move to a clear speciality packaging position along with its rebranding which began at the start of the year. The investment in laser scribing technology is a further step in the company's strategy to drive more design flexibility and pack functionality for converter, packer and retailer customers.

It is clear that contemporary packaging design demands more than just high-definition graphics. Today's consumers, brand owners and retailers are looking for increased functionality from packaging, easy open, reclosable, anti-counterfeit, promotional, shelf stand out, anti fog performance and active and intelligent design requirements to name a few. Parkside understands the needs of the modern retail environment, both online and in store, and designs and delivers packaging through its advanced packaging expertise.

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