APT Advanced Polymer Tubing, a Masterflex Group brand, together with a manufacturer of painting facilities has developed a new process for labelling fluoropolymer tubing. This new technology allows for the unique, customized, and sustainable labelling of FEP and PFA tubes.
Especially in the context of traceability, the labelling of products and components for industrial applications has become more and more important in the past years. In the case of products made of fluoropolymers, however, this is a complex issue. Due to the anti-adhesive properties of the materials, labels applied with commercial labelling systems, for instance, simply do not adhere to them. The processes currently in use are not ideal either: Tubes that are coloured by colour pigments are not suitable since the colours can be copied very easily. Burning in the labelling by a laser beam, on the other hand, may damage the tubing.
APT has now developed a process that makes it possible to label tubes in an uncomplicated and lasting fashion: “We have searched for a solution ensuring a unique allocation of the tubes without posing the risk of damage,” Holger Heuser, Managing Director of APT explains.
For this purpose, additives and pigments are specifically added during the manufacturing process of the tube. The finished tube can then be labelled individually, with top quality and in a lasting fashion by means of a laser beam – without the risk of being damaged in any way. “In addition to texts, also logos or safety labelling can be printed on the product – in fact, with a high resolution,” Heuser says.
When installed in a system or structure, the tubes featuring such labelling can be identified significantly better and more quickly. Apart from an increased transparency, this saves time for companies if error messages occur, if there is a standstill of the machine, or if spare parts are to be ordered. Heuser adds: “When using original tubing with a defined quality, you also stand to benefit from prolonged service intervals.”
APT is already in possession of a new device for laser labelling as well as initial sample applications by means of which customized labelling can be carried out. The company that is based in Neuss, Germany, specialises in the manufacturing of smooth tubes and shrink tubes made of high-performance plastics, so-called fluoropolymers such as PFA (perfluoroalkoxy polymers), FEP (fluorinated ethylene propylene), or PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene).
The Masterflex Group is a listed corporation that specialises in the development and manufacture of quality connecting and hose systems made of high-performance plastics and textiles. The group brings together six companies that are leaders in their specific fields of connection technology: in addition to Masterflex, these are Matzen & Timm, Novoplast Schlauchtechnik, Fleima-Plastic, Masterduct and APT. With its additional production and sales units in Europe, America and Asia, the Masterflex Group is represented almost everywhere across the globe.
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