Manufacturers used to have to choose between traditional engraving and screen printing when marking a surface with a pattern such as a barcode or image. Though expensive and nonpermanent, these processes often resulted in damaged parts.

Through laser marking, however, engineers are able to add letters, numbers, and images without damaging the parts. To produce damage-free, easy-to-read marks, focused laser light is used rather than a physical tool.

The manufacturing industry has become dependent on laser marking to keep track of their products, improve quality, minimize counterfeiting, among other uses. We’ve outlined the benefits of laser marking in manufacturing here to help you understand its potential.

Marking with a laser does not compromise quality.

Using laser for marking, there is no need to etch or apply ink to a product. Laser light is instead focused on a material to leave marks without causing any damage.

For marking our parts, Apple Rubber uses a Samurai UV Laser Marking System called Apple LaserMark. A benefit of this tool is that the laser has a smaller spot size due to its beam quality. Short pulses and small spots produce high peak powers that allow for deep marking to be accomplished with crisp, clear markings and small characters.

Cleaning and recycling are eco-friendly processes.

The use of inks and chemicals in other marking processes, such as inkjet or chemical etching, are not only costly for businesses, but have a negative environmental impact as well. In contrast, laser marking doesn’t require consumables – making it efficient, clean, and affordable.

As a result, cleaning, fixing, and powering printers are no longer a concern. Laser marking, on the other hand, provides permanent identification of parts and doesn’t need to be repeated.

Laser marking offers a clean, non-contact processing method that is relatively free of contamination. In contrast to printing systems that burn down the material when they mark, damage-free processes penetrate the material as little as possible.

Compliance with federal law is made easier through laser marking.

In order to comply with laws that ensure quality, traceability, and safety standards, many federal agencies require identification. For example, automobile companies use part traceability to quickly determine when a component was manufactured – helping them with recalls.

Medical manufacturers must include unique device identifiers on labels and packaging of their products in order to comply with Food and Drug Administration regulations. The UDI is a unique code that contains a device identifier, which represents the label and the model, as well as a production identifier, representing the expiration date and serial number, among other details.

Laser marking is an effective way to connect parts to the Industrial I

The ability to connect with the IIoT is also one of the benefits of laser marking. A large manufacturer with multiple laser marking machines in the past would have to manually upload new jobs whenever a new order came in (which was slow and inefficient). With a system created by Mecco Marking and Traceability, manufacturers can automate and laser mark their products while also connecting them to the IIoT.

This reduces the risk of counterfeit products.

Counterfeiting is a major issue in the global pharmaceutical industry, as it is not only illegal, but also has severe social and economic repercussions. The amount of counterfeit pharmaceuticals is estimated at 10 percent of global sales. Manufacturers of pharmaceuticals have limited options for marking their products. It should be easy to read, tamper-proof, compatible with the environment, and cannot change the product. For this reason, laser internal engraving is the most practical solution since the laser mark is both visible and tactile.

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