Inclusive part traceability is a vital component for conformity with ISO quality prospects. Laser marking technology offers manufacturers a reliable way of labeling and personalizing their products via several marking options, thus guaranteeing an increased level of control over part traceability. Simply put, laser marking technology involves the use of a high frequency beam that comes from a laser source. The beam is amplified and then directed on the material ready to be marked via a multitude of rotating mirrors. Inside the material, there’s a reaction happening and it consists of 3 different processes:
- Engraving – grooving created in the material’s first layers
- Annealing – discoloration of the material
- Foaming – altering of the coating aspect
However one of the most widespread forms of laser marking is fiber laser marking. The technique is incredibly efficient because it offers a wide variety of solutions for business of all types.
Laser marking technology for business
The laser marking industry has grown a lot in the last 10 years. The systems are now more advanced than ever before, and the multitude of machines is getting wider and wider. Nearly all industry demands some sort of traceability for their manufactured products and their components. Laser marking technology has managed to fix many of these demands thanks to its speed, inherent flexibility, reliability and ease of use. As opposite to conventional marking techniques, laser marking with fiber lasers is on high demand.
Most producers of marking systems have at least one machine that marks with fiber lasers. The benefits are well document and well known. Back in 1998, wave fiber lasers with low power came in limited editions. After a while, the pulsed nanosecond units were produced. These were capable of wider markings. To some extent, these systems marked the beginning of a fiber laser marking revolution.
Laser marking technology and its increase in popularity
Across most market sections the international fiber laser revenues increased by 48% in 2011. In the engraving and marking sector, laser technology experienced a boost of 34% in sales compared to DPSS lasers (diode pumped solid state lasers), which only grew with 4% in 2010. Fiber laser technology used for marking has almost eliminated solid state lasers at decreased power levels of under 30 W.
Manufacturers of laser marking systems all make use of sophisticated laser marking software that is readily available; this is meant to manage the galvanometer scanners in charge of producing relative motion between the work piece and the laser spot. However, the marking mechanisms are controlled by the optics and lasers located inside the machine. The markings come in infinite combinations of graphics, characters, unique serials, logos, or bar codes.
Laser marking for security purposes
Nowadays companies in all domains use at least one sort of marking technology to set their product aside from others. In certain industries having a product marked is compulsory. Car parts have serials, as well as guns and medical equipment. All this is required for security reasons. In other cases, laser marking is used to prevent counterfeiting or help someone find a replacement for a lost item.
Laser marking doesn’t damage the marked item in any way. That item is perfectly functional and its efficiency is not compromised throughout its lifetime. The complexity of a laser marking system makes the engraving process appear trivial. In fact, the software used for laser marking involves many different styles to produce a mark on a specific surface. A variety of scan patterns, speeds, line overlaps and laser delays are also available. Also, different operators can make use of various approaches to make a certain mark.
Marking technology with lasers is fundamental to any business. Products have to be engraved in order to be monitored and secured. Monitoring products helps companies assess productivity levels, and thus see whether you’re making a profit or not. There are many techniques available, as well as hundreds of machines. How do you know which laser marking system is the most suitable for your company? First, assess your requirements and settle on a type of marking technique. Then start exploring the market in search of the best technology; and last but not least, ask for guidance from a professional and help your start-up set itself apart from the competition.
By Michael Clark and Fimark.co.uk!