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  • Event Update: Live Laser Processing at Labelexpo 2012

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    Ever wonder what laser processing looks like? Now here’s your chance! View laser processing in action at this year’s Labelexpo Americas in Chicago, September 11-13. Visit AzTech Converting Systems in booth #1511 to watch a live equipment demonstration of the LaserSharp® OEM-V400 laser system integrated with the Aztech Colordyne CDT1600 Printing System for inline label printing and finishing. This system revolutionizes print production by adding laser processing which reduces cost and increases throughput. Want a preview? Watch our new video here.

    LaserSharp® OEM-V400

    The LaserSharp® OEM-V400 uses a 400 W laser beam to kiss-cut, slit, or perforate label materials, eliminating the tooling costs inherent with mechanical dies while expanding design options to complex, intricate patterns not possible with conventional cutters.

    This high-performance system has been specifically designed to take advantage of the CDT1600’s fast print engine to increase efficiency: the majority of label jobs can be laser converted at the printer’s top speed. And because the system’s workflow is entirely digital, production job changeover times and costs are vastly reduced—change the job simply by opening a different pattern file.

    The V400 integrates directly with the Aztech Colordyne CDT1600 Printing System to finish labels after printing and sealing. Benefits include:

    •  Simple or complex pattern processing
    •  Indexed or continuous on-the-fly processing
    •  Unlimited repeat lengths
    •  Precise registration to printed details at high production speeds
    •  Vision systems, barcode sensors, and job queuing increase accuracy and automate job changes
    •  Multiple process areas for maximum job flexibility
    •  Process speeds up to 160 ft/min, depending on pattern and die line.

     

    About Labelexpo

    Labelexpo Americas is the world’s largest event for the label, product decoration, web printing and converting industry. With more products, launches and live demonstrations than any other event in the industry, there is no better place to learn about the latest trends while networking with the world’s leading major suppliers and experts. To learn more, visit www.labelexpo-americas.com.

     

    Are you attending Labelexpo this year? What are you looking forward to most?

     

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  • Design Inspiration: An Adventuresome Invitation

    Wedding Inviation

    As a follow up to our post last week on wedding stationery, today we’d like to highlight one more stunning wedding invitation that truly exemplifies the advantages of laser cutting: it’s unique, completely personal, and extremely intricate. It takes viewers on a journey that follows one couple’s travels throughout their relationship and ends by inviting guests to join them on their next adventure as they celebrate their marriage.

    The beautiful design for this invitation came from our friends at A Milestone Paper Co., and was then laser cut by LasX Industries to really add a wow factor to the piece. Of course these mini travel scenes could have simply been printed – but as you’ll see, the laser cut aspect really takes the design to a whole new level.

    This piece is the epitome of a memorable wedding invitation. I hope you enjoy it as much as the guests surely did!

     

    The beauty of this invitation is that it has been cleverly engineered so that the laser cut details can be viewed from the front, inside, and back. Because of the placement of the laser cut design, there’s no need for a solid insert. The visibility of each scene from all angles helps accentuate the travel theme as you follow the timeline from start to finish.

    This is a great design for a couple who loves to travel, but the same timeline idea could be applied to other themes and events as well. Use laser cutting in invitations to highlight important information or details about the the event. Laser cut distinctive elements that mimic the setting of location the event itself. Or use this idea for an anniversary invitation to mark milestones throughout a lifetime.

    Fine details like these would be impossible to create using metal dies, but without them the invitation wouldn’t have the same level of depth and intricacy. Laser processing is the perfect tool for reproducing the complex architectural details found at each location along the timeline.

    What elements do you think make for a memorable, personal invitation? 

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  • Design Inspiration: Little Details for the Big Day

    Laser Cut Wedding Sleeve

    It’s wedding season! Love is in the air and by this point in the summer most of us have seen at least a few wedding invitations in our mailboxes or already attended some of these special events. Wedding stationery is a personal reflection of any couple, and for that reason laser cutting is a great method for jazzing up traditional paper pieces, making them unique and memorable. From cupcake wraps to personalized ceremony programs, decorative laser cutting can be used in almost any capacity to accentuate the little details on the big day. Use laser cutting to create drama and interest simply on the invitation itself, or use laser cutting for other creative accents like wedding favors and table décor. The sky is the limit!

    Here are a few great examples of how you can integrate laser cutting into wedding invitations and accent pieces. Enjoy!

     

    This pearlescent laser cut wedding invitation sleeve shows how laser cut accent pieces can compliment the design of wedding stationery, elevating it to the next level. The design came from A Milestone Paper Co., which was then laser cut by LasX to accentuate the circular patterns on the printed insert.  A laser cut monogram adds a touch of personalization.

     

     

    Use a repeating emblem or motif to unify the various components of your wedding stationery and create a cohesive overall look. And remember, laser cutting does not need to be reserved for the invitation itself; favor boxes, menus, thank you cards, and even cupcake wraps can all be embellished with laser cutting to add unique details to any wedding.

    Laser cutting can create complex or delicate patterns typically not achievable with traditional die cutting. As you can see, this technique is especially useful when trying to produce details such as leaves on a tree or the custom text at the bottom on this invitation. Laser cutting is also ideal for recreating the look of intricate flowers, lace, or bold graphic patterns.

    Laser cut belly bands are another great addition to wedding stationery. They can be used simply as a decorative piece, or to hold multiple printed sheets together. Try incorporating a belly band into a wedding favor for a special keepsake. With laser cutting, the design possibilities are endless!

    Want to add laser cutting to your wedding invitations or accent pieces? LasX offers laser cutting services and has also recently introduced a line of pre-cut sleeves, belly bands, gate fold cards, and pockets perfect wedding and special event stationery! Click here to view the Ready to Order Laser Cuts collection.

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  • Add Value with Innovative Packaging

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    In June, LasX exhibited at The Dieline Package Design Conference in Boston. The Dieline Package Design Conference is part of HOW Design Live, one of the biggest gatherings of designers, freelancers, creative team managers, and other creative professionals in the country. The conference addresses industry trends, resources, and cutting edge package designs and is filled with educational sessions, speakers, design inspiration, and networking opportunities.

    One clear message arose from The Dieline Package Design Conference: today innovation and reinvention are key elements to successful package design.  Shelf impact, functionality, branding, and product protection all shape package design and can influence consumer response. Keeping these factors in mind, today there are a multitude of technologies and resources at the disposal of package designers to creatively reinvent everyday packaging. Laser cutting is one innovative technology with limitless design opportunities.

    Below you’ll find some tips and ideas to help you incorporate laser cutting into your next design project.

    Entice the Consumer.

    Creating windows in a package and partially revealing it’s contents can entice consumers and increase the visual appeal of a product. Laser cutting allows you to create intricate shapes and patterns that would be impossible to achieve using traditional die cutting. Additionally, because laser converting is entirely digital and capable of processing variable data, multiple versions of a design can be cut easily by modifying a vector file; there’s no need to create new dies. This is ideal if you’re looking to differentiate between several varieties within one product line. In the example above, you’ll notice the laser cut golfers on the green box are not exactly the same as those that appear on the orange box.

    Don’t forget the details. 

    Laser cut easy-open tabs add functionality and ease of use to folding cartons and boxes.  Additionally, laser etching can personalize a package and laser perforating can create detachable features with excellent registration to print. Thanks to laser digital converting technology, laser cutting, scoring, perforating, and etching can all be performed in a single production run, reducing lead times in a more cost efficient process.

    Coordination is key.

    In this example, coordinating belly bands are used in conjunction with laser cut folding cartons. Belly bands can be used either as functional or decorative accessories to a product’s packaging. Use the same pattern or motif in multiple pieces to reinforce consistent branding.

    Think outside the box.

    Laser cut accents can be used in a number of creative ways to add interest to packaging. These laser cut wine bottle toppers set a bottle apart from its numerous competitors on the shelves. Small package additions like this are a great way to promote a new or limited edition product that deserves special attention.

    Opening is half the fun. 

    Even the act itself of opening a package can be an important part of the consumer’s experience with a product. A laser cut sleeve can be used to partially conceal a product, which is then fully reveled upon opening the package. Or use laser cutting and scoring to create unique folds or interlocking tabs, allowing the consumer to “unwrap” the product in a creative way.

    Click here to visit the LasX Gallery for more design inspiration.

    What factors do you think are important to consider when designing for packaging? 

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  • FSEA Bronze Leaf Award Winner: Less is More

    Laser Cut Warhol Invitation Close Up

    Each year the Gold Leaf Awards, sponsored by the Foil & Specialty Effects Association, honor original and technically difficult works in 28 different categories which creatively incorporate foil stamping, embossing, die cutting, or specialty effects. This year LasX took home the Bronze Leaf Award in the Laser Cutting category for the unique Warhol Invitation that uses laser cutting in an innovative, non-conventional way.

    The 2011 Gold Leaf Awards were recently announced at the Gold Leaf Awards Banquet during FSEA-IADD Joint Conference in Las Vegas, NV. Design, execution, and level of difficulty were used as criteria to judge hundreds of entries submitted by trade finishers and commercial printers from across the globe. The Contour Creations® digital finishing division of LasX submitted the Warhol Invitation, which demonstrates that you don’t always need printed details to create a stunning design. In this case, less really is more.

     

    Often people perceive laser cutting as simply an alternative to metal die cutting, used for creating shapes or cutting out the perimeter of graphic art pieces such as cards, invitations, and folders. In reality, laser cutting is an extremely versatile finishing method which can be used in a number of creative ways – including, as a replacement for printed text.

    Each letter on the Warhol Invitation is comprised of a series of very small laser cut circles. One might think that this text was perforated, however the design is actually laser cut, as opposed to adjusting the laser setting to perforate. This creates a very high degree of precision when processing these extremely small features. Each hole is completely uniform and round. This technique creates a delicate, sophisticated look that cannot be achieved through traditional metal die cutting.

    There are lots of ways to utilize this laser cutting method to transform graphic arts pieces. As you can see, using laser cut circles as text can create interesting effects with light. Or, add a contrasting colored backing to reveal color through the text to make the design pop. This technique doesn’t have to be reserved for text; try using laser cut circles as a pattern to embellish design features or call attention to graphic elements on cards, invitations, and promotional pieces. These unique effects cannot be achieved using ordinary printing and for this reason, laser cutting is a great option if you’re looking to add interest and depth to a design. This example illustrates a simple way to elevate a plain printed invitation that will be sure to please guests.

    The back of the Warhol Invitation is clean and free of processing artifacts and debris. Even on white paper stock, there is no clear evidence of discoloration due to the laser cutting process. Each material reacts slightly different to laser processing and it is important to test material prior to a full production run. However, high quality laser systems, such as the LaserSharp® LPM which processed this invitation, are able to significantly reduce or eliminate discoloration, resulting in a beautiful finished piece from front to back.

    Have you seen an innovative use of intricate laser cut circles? How do you plan to incorporate this technique into your next project? 

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  • Event Update: A new name at this year’s AACC Clinical Lab Expo

    AACC Clinical Lab Expo 2012


    LasX will again exhibit at the AACC Clinical Lab Expo, part of the AACC Annual Meeting which takes place in Los Angeles next week. Although this will not be the first LasX appearance at the conference, there will be a new name on booth 2361. The Precision Medical Converting Group, the LasX division that formerly dealt exclusivity with laser converting services for medical applications, will make its debut as MicroFlow Medical Services at this year’s Clinical Lab Expo.

    MicroFlow Medical Services has taken on this new title to better identify its market focus on laminated polymer microfluidic platforms. Although going forward microfluidic and related markets will be the center of this service division, converting solutions for other applications, including in-vitro diagnostics and biosensors, will still be available. MicroFlow Medical Services is committed to assisting customers in any stage of a medical component’s lifecycle, from prototype to full-scale production. These parts are processed in an ISO 9001:2008 certified environment with the precision of laser digital converting, making them ready for use in clinical or life science markets.

    The AACC Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo will take place from July 15-19 and offers clinical scientists a variety of educational sessions and networking opportunities as well as the largest clinical lab exposition in the world. More than 650 expected exhibitors occupying over 1,900 booths will feature new products and technology related to the areas of clinical diagnostics, automation, information systems, point-of-care, OEM, and biotechnology. As the largest clinical lab exposition in the world, this is the premier event to discover new technologies and network with peers.

     

    Are you attending this year? Stop by booth 2361 to learn about the benefits of laser converting as a precision manufacturing solution for high performance medical components, from prototype to large-scale production.

    And be sure to check out the new booth while you’re there!

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  • Welcome to Laser Cutting Blog!

    Laser-Processing

    Welcome to the Laser Cutting Blog, a new forum produced by LasX Industries, meant to foster conversation about laser converting technology, applications, and processes related to the graphic arts, flexible packaging, medical, and electronic markets. The Laser Cutting Blog will bring you inside stories covering industry events, new products, advancements in LaserSharp® technology, and practical applications for laser cutting in today’s manufacturing environment.

    Since 1998 LasX Industries has specialized in designing and manufacturing laser cutting systems while also offering in-house contract laser processing services. Our patented LaserSharp® technology eliminates the need for mechanical tooling by delivering on-demand laser solutions that accurately cut, score, perforate, etch, weld, or ablate components at high production speeds. Our experienced team works to develop new laser converting processes to address the unique requirements of an expanding array of applications. We hope to share our expertise and hands-on knowledge with you through the Laser Cutting Blog.

    Thanks for visiting!

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