Laser Marking in the Electric Vehicle Industry

How is laser marking actually used in the electric vehicle industry? This section introduces applications that are useful for new process development.

Direct Marking in the Electric Vehicle Industry

This section introduces marking and printing applications useful in the electric vehicle (EV) industry. Laser marking and processing are used on a variety of products including batteries, ECUs, and safety equipment.

Battery

DC-DC converter

Inverter

ECU

Sonar sensor

Milliwave radar

Front camera

Rear camera

Laser Marking on BatteriesĀ (Electrodes and Insulation)

Batteries are the primary power source of electric and hybrid vehicles. They regain their power through direct charging or vehicle deceleration. Automotive manufacturers recently started using lithium-ion batteries, which have a larger capacity and a more compact/lightweight design compared to traditional options.

A: 2D Code and Serial Number Marking on the Battery Cover

A battery has a case and a cover, which are marked for traceability to optimize manufacturing and assembly.

B: Battery Cover Surface Roughening

Laser light is used to roughen the adhesion surface of the battery cover and case to improve the bonding strength.

C: 2D Code Marking on Electrodes

2D code marking is becoming widespread. In the past, only battery cases were marked. Now, there's an increasing need to mark individual electrodes along with the case.

Laser Marking on Inverters

Inverters convert stored electricity from DC to AC and supply AC to the motor. Because motors rotate over a wide angle while a vehicle is operated, inverters must meticulously control the supplied electricity.

A: 2D Code and Character String Marking on PCB

Glass epoxy PCB marking must be damage-free to prevent particle generation on photo-resist removal.

B: 2D Code Marking on Cooling Device

Marking a 2D code on the cooling device makes it very easy to ascertain the device specifications.

C: Serial Number Marking on the Case Cover

Affixing labels to an inverter's case is common, but labels are expensive to produce and can't accommodate design changes well. Laser markers don't incur running costs and are very easy to adjust.

D: 2D Code and Character String Marking on Aluminum Cast Parts

Cast aluminum cases can vary in size depending on product tolerances. It's important to have a marking system that can compensate for these size changes, otherwise you run the risk of defective, out-of-focus marks that aren't readable.

Laser Marking on Sonar Sensors

These sensors are installed in the bumper and detect obstacles up to about 1 m away. They are used in parking and notify the driver of nearby obstacles.

A: Identification Marking on Case

Identification marking is applied to the numerous sonar sensors in the vehicle.

B: 2D Code Marking on Sensor Parts

Sonar sensors come in a wide variety of colors so they can match different colored vehicles. As a result, traceability systems must be able to cleanly mark a wide range of colors in sonar marking applications.

Laser Marking on Front Cameras

Forward vehicle cameras are used to alert the driver of other vehicles, pedestrians and traffic signs. Cameras are good at detecting relatively close objects and can recognize white lines indicating traffic lanes, crosswalks and speed limit signs.

A: Identification Marking on Lens Unit

Identification marks are placed on the ring that fits around the camera lens.

B: Character String and 2D Code Marking on E-coated Parts

Lasers are used to mark e-coated parts on the camera's base. To ensure rust prevention, the marks must not completely remove the paint.

Laser Marking on Rear Cameras

Rear-facing vehicle cameras display the area behind a vehicle. This video feed is displayed on the navigation monitor when the vehicle is backing up. Rear cameras often use CMD lenses because they are able to display the left, right and center areas behind a vehicle.

A: Serial Number Marking on Camera Case

Identification marking is performed to distinguish the installed vehicle model and specifications.

B: Lot Number Marking on Lens

Identification marking is performed on the lens to distinguish the assembled case.

Laser Marking on DC-DC Converters

A DC-DC converter drives electrical components in vehicles such as the headlights, wipers, and audio system by converting stored high voltage to a low voltage direct current. Electrical components in vehicles require more and more power, resulting in a need for increased power capacity and a compact, lightweight design.

A: 2D Code and Character String Marking on PCB

Glass epoxy PCB marking must be damage-free to prevent particle generation on photo-resist removal.

B: Serial Number Marking on the Case Cover

Conventionally, affixing labels to the case was common, but laser marking is becoming more popular to reduce costs and simplify design changes.

Laser Marking on ECUs

The ECU is the brain of the vehicle, optimizing the movement of the various drive mechanisms. It electronically controls the engine, airbags, transmission, and other parts according to operating conditions. ECU development continues to evolve, with higher levels of control obtained every day.

A: Serial Number Marking on the Case Cover

Affixing labels to an ECU's case is common, but labels are expensive to produce and can't accommodate design changes well. Laser markers don't incur running costs and are very easy to adjust.

B: 2D Code Marking for Connector Identification

ECU connectors often use cream-colored and gray resins, which are difficult to mark with infrared lasers. However, UV lasers are capable of producing high-contrast marks on these materials very easily.

Laser Marking on Milliwave Radars

Milliwave radar sensors detect objects in a large area up to 100 m ahead. Forward sensors measure the distance to the preceding vehicle, rear sensors detect vehicles and pedestrians in blind spots, and front sensors help prevent crossing accidents (that commonly occur at intersections).

A: Standard Marking on Case

All equipment that emits radio waves (such as a milliwave radar) must obtain standard certifications in each country it will be used. Standard certification marks are added each time a new targeted export country is added. Laser markers are optimized for these applications because they easily adapt to design changes.