Primera Technology, Inc., a manufacturers of specialized digital printing equipment, announced its new Catalyst Laser Marking System. Catalyst allows production of highly durable, synthetic labels for a wide range of rough-service applications. Labels produced with lasers, including Catalyst, are typically used to replace metal plates or far less durable labels produced by resin thermal transfer printers on polyester substrates.

Text, graphics, and linear or 2D/3D bar codes are laser-imaged onto Color Laser Film ("CLF"), which was developed and is manufactured for extreme indoor and outdoor applications. CLF labels are robust and do not require extra lamination to withstand extended exposure to UV light, chemicals, liquids and temperatures of up to 300C.

Instead of ink, Catalyst uses a bundle of 2, 4, or 8 fiber-coupled laser diodes along with matched, high precision lenses (patents pending) to image onto CLF. Bundled fiber lasers have reportedly never been used in a roll-fed, desktop laser label imager. After imaging the CLF material, Catalyst's built-in Digital Die-Cutting system cuts the labels to any shape, eliminating the need for pre-die-cut labels. It uses a knife blade instead of the laser beam to cut out the labels, eliminating the need for a smoke and fume extraction system.

Primera says Catalyst was designed more like a standard industrial label printer, resulting in a less complicated machine with no special maintenance or on-going calibration required. Catalyst installs on a PC as a standard Windows printer. Any popular Windows-based label creation software can be used to send image files. No special operator training or certification is required.

"We are excited to introduce this ground-breaking new laser-based label imaging system," says Mark D. Strobel, Primera's vice president of sales and marketing. "For companies that need labels for use in harsh and severe-service environments, and even for mission-critical applications, Catalyst is the most affordable and easiest to use laser-marking label printer available."

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