Reusable coffee cups made of bio-based plastic - sustainable and marked with REA

The ""marking professionals"" from REA Elektronik visit a Fraunhofer innovation factory in their latest video.

Mühltal, July 17th 2023 - Buy, enjoy, throw away: Every year, 2.8 billion disposable cups end up in the trash in Germany alone - after a single "coffee to go" has been enjoyed. In the latest film in their series "Marking Professionals on Site", the marking professionals from REA Elektronik show that things can be done differently. For this, Daniel Wege (Business Development Manager) and Frank Debusmann (Sales Director national Marking Systems) went to Lemgo in the Ostwestfalen-Lippe (OWL) region. "Because the laser benefits a good cause - sustainability," says Debusmann, they made a visit to the Fraunhofer Institute IOSB-INA and its Smart Factory OWL. The video that they created is online as of today.

"I smell high technical spirit!"" says Wege enthusiastically. "Fraunhofer is quite often leading the way in combination with industry," he reports about the work of the approximately 30,000 employees in 76 institutes of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. His partner Debusmann adds, "As a side note, Fraunhofer files two new patents almost every day." For the practice-oriented development of innovations, Fraunhofer IOSB-INA has set up a production line for plastic cups in the Smart Factory OWL in cooperation with ten industrial companies. Innovation manager Nissrin Perez: "We have been researching technologies around industrial automation - the digitalization of factories - for several years now and are increasingly linking this to sustainability or issues around energy optimization and resource consumption. For example, there's also a focus on problems from society like the amount of disposable cups used for coffee, with the question: how can we reduce that?"

And that's what the three are looking at - from bio-based plastic, which even leaves a negative carbon footprint, to the production of the cups and their sustainable marking by using a laser from REA JET and color change. To easily switch between marking content - logos, texts, QR codes - Fraunhofer IOSB-INA came up with a solution that reduced processing time "from a day to a few minutes," according to Perez. Where exactly the problem was, what its solution looks like and how the cup is also produced and marked with the help of robotics, the host shows to the marking professionals and the viewers of the video.

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