When it needed to automate the application of serial numbers to the curved surface of silicone hydrogel contact lenses, Madrid-based Tiedra Farmaceutica turned to leading global manufacturer of high performance coding and marking equipment, Macsa id (https://www.macsa.com/en-uk/) and its advanced SPA2 CB 10Watt CO2 laser marking system with iLaserbox 450 work station.
Founded in 2003 by members of the Tiedra family, Tiedra Farmaceutica is a manufacturer of contact lenses, healthcare and eyecare products and diagnostic instruments for use in optometry and ophthalmology clinics.
Prior to installation of Macsa id’s SPA2 CB laser model, Tiedra used a pantograph which is a quadrangular system of articulated rods. This manual process offered limited marking options and the serial numbers faded over time which made identification difficult for the customer.
Macsa id’s engineering department collaborated closely with Tiedra to develop a bespoke solution to meet the particularly demanding requirements of this application. The challenge was to develop a laser system that delivered extremely high precision marking on to a curved surface with a font size of less than one millimetre.
After an in-depth study of the problem, Macsa id’s engineers decided that the best solution was to adapt its SPA2 CB 10W IP65 rated laser marking system for the application of serial numbers to the delicate contact lenses.
The enhanced SPA2 CB model offered a dramatic improvement in both marking quality and permanence. In addition, the newly automated process was much faster than the pantograph-based system while the identification and control results far exceeded the Tiedra’s requirements.
By utilizing laser marking technology, any alphanumeric text can be successfully etched on to the contact lens surface. The marking process can be designed to leave the normal distribution of the tear film surface unaltered. The use of cutting-edge laser heads enables high visibility marking that can be read with the naked eye – making lens recognition a quick and simple task.
Macsa id’s iLaserbox 450 is a compact, economic and easy to install laser marking work station. Simple to integrate and manage, the iLaserbox 450 can also operate safely in standard Class 1, semi-manual and low-volume marking applications. It can handle components measuring up to 264mm (length) x 350mm (width) x 160mm (height). It is compatible with Macsa’s full range of laser systems.
Tiedra’s Managing Director Álvaro García de Tiedra comments: “We have found Macsa to be a world-class supplier that sets a new benchmark in laser marking related processes. Macsa has an engineering department whose mission is to adapt its products and solutions to meet the customer’s needs.”
Tiedra’s Production Manager Guillermo Hernández adds: “The quality and speed of the engraving process and dentification quality have all improved beyond measure.”
Ideal for all packaging applications, Macsa id’s SPA2 C 10W, 30W and 40W CO2 lasers boast a modular design and can be easily integrated with any production line. Exceptionally easy to install, program and operate, a wizard supports installation and online help videos, technical guides and tips can be accessed via a 10-inch handheld touchscreen controller designed to make programming quicker and to eliminate operator errors. The lasers can also be controlled direct from a PC via an ethernet link or PLC with Profinet or OPC-UA.
The SPA2 connector box offers a wide range of communication ports, enabling the system to be integrated with all elements of the production line. These lasers support Macsa id’s Optima software for real time control and compatibility with desktop printers, label printer applicators and label applicators. The DUO processing technology enables high-speed, high-quality marking with variable data.
Macsa id’s SPA2 lasers are available with a comprehensive range of software, accessories and services. The environmentally-friendly units are fume, waste and consumable free plus use less power and energy. Protective covers are also available for dusty (IP54) and wet (IP65) environments.