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What is Industrial Laser Marking System?Application Classification

Aug 23, 2021 Upload by OTLASER

Simply put, the term laser marking refers to the permanent procedure that employs a concentrated light beam to cut, engrave or mark the surface.

 

Ever since the market was introduced to the CO2 and fiber technologies, the demands of industrial sector has shifted to utilizing the efficiency of laser marking- especially for part identification. Today, industrial laser marking systems are taking up the task of production lines from other marking technologies, namely dot peen marking, printed labels and inkjet printing. Even, the manufacturers haven’t stopped here. They are still trying their level best to bring changes in what is used today.

 

Usually, this laser marking is done with a pulsed, green, UV laser machine, fiber or continuous wave for different applications. These applications normally encompass the following:

 

· Engraving

· Annealing

· Etching

· Discoloration

· Carbon migration

 

The thing that makes laser marking system different from other laser machine is its high speed automation and processing. As the result, it leaves traceable marks on different materials, including copper, wood, aluminum, paper, steel, cardboard, plastic, titanium, steel and ceramic. It enables users to mark parts or products with text (part numbers and serial numbers), graphics, and machine-readable data (2D Matrix codes, Unique ID codes and barcodes).

 

Laser Marking Process

 

The industrial laser marking machine works by generating a focused light beam to engrave or mark the applications. When this beam hits the surface, it changes the properties of the material, thereby preparing it for the next steps in laser marking. Rest assured, this focused beam only works on the specified area to let the machine leave high-contrast, precise and high quality marks that are permanently visible. This feature makes laser marking perfect for applications that ask for permanency and accuracy.

 

Industrial Laser Marking Machine

 

Considering the fact that the market is full of different types of laser systems, you have to understand that each of them works in a different way. Even, the process to use these machines differs from one material to the other. So, what you will need to do is to analyze your requirements based on the applications in order to make sure that the chosen machine works properly and you have the skills to troubleshoot any issues arising in the future.

 

Here, the worth mentioning thing is that you should always follow safety guidelines and wear preventive gears to ensure your protection.

 

Industrial Laser Marking Applications

 

While there are numerous applications, following are some commonly and widely applied uses that industries and businesses cannot do without:

 

· Metal Laser Engraving: The system is capable of creating deep marks through the laser engraving machine. Rest assured, you can easily create any pattern, deep crevices and diffuse designs with dark and pale markings. All you need to do is to know the material, or metal specifically, to choose the laser marking method- metals include magnesium, aluminum, stainless steel, titanium etc.

 

· Aluminum Laser Marking: With this type of laser marking, it will be easy to mark data matrix codes and serial numbers on aluminum die casting. 2D codes can also be read with a barcode scanner.

 

· Lead Laser Marking: Dealing with soft metals like lead had got easier. With extensive information and highly efficient industrial laser marking machine, you can mark materials with a data matrix code, alphanumeric characters and a barcode.

 

· Polyethylene Laser Marking: When it comes to marking plastic material such as polyethylene, be sure to employ the dust and fume management systems to avoid causing trouble in the surroundings.

 

Industrial Laser Marking Methods

 

Now that you know applications of industrial laser marking systems, it’s time to figure out which methods are responsible to make these applications successful and result oriented.

 

1. Laser Etching: Yes, laser etching has emerged as the ideal option for many applications because of its ability to create permanent identifiers against the cycle time. The method is widely used in the metal industry, assembly lines and metal fabrication sector (like welding and stamping).

 

2. Laser Engraving: Although the process is slow, it has still shown better results from laser etching. It is commonly used in automotive foundries, including forging and casting plants. The foundries usually depend upon the laser marking system to engrave items at the beginning of the process.

 

Classification of Industrial Laser Marking Systems

 

1. OEM or Class-04 Laser Marking Systems

 

Nowadays, most of the manufacturers produce industrial laser marking systems either with a CO2 or fiber laser source, each of which is useful in a particular area or manner. Fiber lasers are not only used to mark aluminum, steel and other metals but they can also remove surface contaminants, ranging from rust to oxide and paint. They operate on a wide range of laser power, CO2 laser marking systems can work on numerous organic materials like polymer and plastic.

 

When it comes to their structure, fiber lasers operate a wide range of source power i.e. from 20 watts to 100 watts, while if you want to purchase a heavy-duty fiber laser, then be sure that its source power can go over 500 watts.

 

Laser Systems for OEMs and Integration

 

As a matter of fact, a laser marking system is perfect for high-quality, permanent marks to make production more efficient. The process is fast, more productive and doesn’t need much maintenance, thereby making it the best alternative to labels, inkjet marking or chemical etching. Class 4 OEM lasers have emerged as the most reliable and useful of all since they are configured for integration into the automation cells and production lines. Other than that, OEM lasers’ typical coding and marking applications are extruded plastic products, automotive parts (rubber, metal or plastic) and consumer goods.

 

2. Laser Engraving or Class-01 Laser Systems

 

These laser engraving machines have proved themselves as the standard turnkey alternative to integrate into the existing production process. They are referred to as class-1 products that are dedicated to their laser marking or engraving tasks and promise high performance, irrespective of which industry they are used in.

 

Laser Marking Workstations

 

All those laser marking systems that enclose the laser beams are included in Class-01 safety enclosures. Each of them is provided with a safety interlock that restricts the laser from working with an open door and a laser-safe viewing window makes it easy for the operator to keep an eye on the progress.

 

All Class-01 lasers have different options, features and sizes to mark a certain size and volume of parts. From high-volume production marking to low-volume nameplate marking, they are capable of working on any condition or requirement. Other than that, these workstations have applications consisting of laser engraving parts and their assembly, information filing on nameplates, labels, ID tags and serial plates, UID labeling for military and aerospace products, marking or engraving around the round parts and direct marking or assets, dies and tools.

 

Benefits of an Industrial Laser Marking System

 

There are countless benefits that businesses can derive from an industrial laser marking system. From its basic part branding or traceability to tracking parts to grave, it is capable of doing everything. Direct part marking with laser beams leave readable and durable marks on the material’s surface. These marks provide better productivity and better operational efficiency with less downtime and waste, lesser risk like counterfeiting and quality issues and more accountability and visibility throughout their supply chain process.

 

Wrapping Up

 

Industrial laser marking systems have turned out to be one of the reliable additions in the production line. Not only are they able to make the entire process more productive and efficient but also maintain quality of the machines for a longer time period, which could be the real convincing factor for clients to stick to your products. So, what are you waiting for? Research and get a laser marking system now.