Laser Marking Systems / Laser Markers
Laser engraving has been utilized for decades, as many businesses and industries rely on the technology for various applications. The process of engraving logos, text, barcodes, and other identifying marks is used on metal, wood, acrylic, glass, leather, cardboard and more. Although the versatility of laser engraving is attractive for many, there are some drawbacks and disadvantages that should be carefully considered.
To help you make an informed decision for your particular needs, we’ll take a look at those considerations, along with the characteristics of engraving versus other methods, such as laser marking.
What is Laser Engraving?
Laser engraving is the process of cutting deep marks into metal, wood, plastic, and various substances by removing material through vaporization. This process creates depth as it displaces the material being used.
Laser engraving is a popular technique used in manufacturing and other business applications for a number of reasons. For one, it allows for quick marking on a wide range of materials. In addition, there is a low initial cost for implementing laser engraving, whether it is needed for one item up to thousands. Lastly, the ability to deeply mark engraved characters that do not fade makes engraving an attractive option for some.
However, there are numerous drawbacks to laser engraving that must be considered. These often steer users away and to different options, such as laser marking. For example, engraving does not work on rough and curved surfaces, which parts from many industries contain. Engraving is also not sufficient for use with small parts or when small characters and fine detailing is required.
Laser Engraving Systems
Laser engraving systems combine machines, software, and staff for various applications and within many industries. These systems are widely used and come in many configurations. In fact, some laser engraving systems, or laser marking systems, have over 1,000,000 configurations, allowing for precision marking for a myriad of projects.
For businesses, high quality engraving systems and machines make it easy to customize things to their particular needs. These systems often make it easier to operate and learn. Some systems also allow for multiple laser processes to occur without needing more than one unit. For example, the machine may have the ability to handle multiple processes, such as engraving and laser marking.
Laser Engraving Machines
Laser engraving machines combine software and laser beam technology to add desired markings to materials. This equipment is commonly used due to the low initial cost and ability to create your desired engraving quickly.
Here is the common process for laser engraving machines:
- A design is created and added to an engraving computer software program.
- The item that is going to be engraved is placed inside the machine’s tray.
- The machine is focused and calibrated to the desired parameters for the project.
- Once started, the machine’s laser continually passes over the specified area and marks the surface.
This process typically takes a few minutes to complete, depending on the size and complexity of engraving. However, a good portion of the time required to engrave is preparing the design and software settings.
This quick guide introduces the basics of metal marking. Learn why different wavelengths matter and discover the various ways laser light interacts with metal parts.
2D codes have become a near-universal standard for traceability. This must-read document covers everything from code scanning principles, laser installation, predictive maintenance, and more.
2D codes are used to store date codes, lot codes, serial numbers, and more. Users who are considering 2D code marking should read this laser marking guidebook.
Some laser marking applications require integration with multiple devices. KEYENCE provides a total marking solution, from X/Y stages and indexing systems to head traversal systems. Learn more in this brochure.