Laser Marking in the Food and Pharmaceutical Industry

From laser-engraved food to medicinal packaging, laser marking technology is quickly becoming the preferred method of marking products in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Laser markers offer these industries a range of benefits, including:

  • High-resolution text, graphics and logos
  • Clear marking on nonporous surfaces
  • Cost savings from reduced waste or rework due to improved accuracy
  • Durability that stands up to harsh conditions like extreme temperatures or exposure to chemicals

In addition, laser markers can be used for serialisation, the process of adding unique identifiers to individual packages, which is becoming a common requirement in many countries as part of traceability initiatives. Serialising items helps ensure that all products meet safety standards before they reach consumers. In some cases, this serialisation must be applied directly onto the product packaging itself, which makes laser markers even more desirable because they can mark on any surface without damaging it or changing its characteristics.

Another advantage of using laser markers for both food and pharmaceutical industries is their flexibility when it comes to labeling requirements. With a simple software adjustment, you can easily switch between different codes (e.g., expiration dates or batch numbers) or change the size or font of your labels without having to buy additional equipment. Laser marker software also allows you to adjust the power settings depending on your application needs. This ensures that your labels are durable yet easy to read, even if they’re exposed to environmental conditions like sunlight or moisture.

Direct Part Marking in the Food and Pharmaceutical Industry

The food and pharmaceutical industries are facing a critical challenge as the regulations for labeling consumer products continue to become more stringent. In addition to traditional markings such as expiry date, place of origin, ingredients, and distribution codes, manufacturers now need to serialize every package sent out to comply with regulatory authorities. This has created a surge in demand for multi-purpose laser markers and direct part marking for laser-engraving food and pharmaceutical packaging.

Here are just a few common parts that are marked due to the laser’s cost and efficiency:

Drink bottles

Because laser markers do not puncture PET plastic drink bottles, adding markings has become less costly for manufacturers.


As food and medical packages require expiration dates, GS1 DataBar barcodes, and other important information, laser markers have facilitated the process by removing paint directly from the carton itself.


From vitamins and medicines, capsules are commonly used in the pharmaceutical industry. Laser markers can easily add a name or text to various capsule types without the pressure that stamping equipment uses.

Laser markers will continue to provide food and pharmaceutical manufacturers with an efficient way to meet new labeling regulations. The correct laser marking machines will also reduce the costs associated with waste and rework due to inaccurate labeling. With their flexibility and ability to mark on any surface without damaging it, laser markers make it easy for manufacturers to produce high-quality products that meet safety standards while still meeting customer demands quickly and accurately.

With so many advantages over traditional methods of marking products, it’s evident why so many manufacturers are turning towards this technology as an efficient solution for their food and pharmaceutical manufacturing processes.

FAQs about Laser Marking for Food and Pharmaceutical Industry

What are the different types of laser marking applications for food/pharma packaging?

Laser markers are often used to mark lot and date codes, expiration dates, logos and graphics, tamper evidence seals, and 1D/2D codes.

What is driving the increase of laser marking in the food and package industry?

Despite sometimes higher entry costs for laser markers, the lack of consumables, maintenance, and downtime compared to standard marking methods have led to lucrative ROI opportunities.

Can you laser mark food?

Yes, foods can be laser marked, however, the industry standard is laser marking the packaging. New applications for laser marking are found every day, please contact your local KEYENCE representative if you would like to test an application.

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