6 Ways Laser Marking Can Improve Product Quality Control

When you introduce laser marking product quality control, you're bound to find benefits such as time and cost efficiency and a newfound competitive edge. However, the specific scope of quality control gets a bit more nuanced.

For manufacturers, ensuring consistent quality is often the difference between thriving and failing. Many of the traditional and ongoing issues that stem from quality control begin with human error. In this article, we'll highlight six ways laser marking can improve product quality control, regardless of the manufacturing sector.

Importance of Quality Control in Manufacturing

Efficiency is one of the biggest focal points when it comes to production, but quality control is something that can’t be overlooked. Failures or product recalls can significantly impact finances, production timelines, customer relationships, and the business's reputation as a whole.

Poor quality control can potentially lead to the following consequences:

  • Customer dissatisfaction
  • Reduced shareholder confidence
  • Weaker competitive edge
  • Negative industry reputation
  • Financial loss

The lifecycle of a product has quite a few steps, and the same can be said about quality control. Considering more than a few steps for comprehensive quality control, different tips, tricks, and tools are used throughout the process. Some are a bit more effective and innovative than others; this is where laser marking systems come up in conversation.

Laser marking and product quality have been closely related for years now, but the technology is still being adopted globally. Many manufacturers have yet to realize the benefits of laser marking quality control, which offers much more than time savings.

How Laser Marking Improves Product Quality

Before discussing how laser marking improves product quality, it is essential to understand the core of industrial laser technology. It involves various capabilities, from quality control to marking logos, specific product codes, branding, and serial numbers, to name a few.

This is partly what makes the technology so valuable in today’s world, as it serves multiple purposes within the production workflow. One could argue that the technology may come with a higher upfront cost, but the true value of laser power is found in the long term. Nevertheless, here are ways laser marking can improve your quality control processes.

  1. 1. Improves Traceability: Laser marking for traceability pertains to product marking, such as ID codes of all kinds. Some of the most common include serial numbers and barcodes. A few purposes behind these markings include the prevention of counterfeit and better traceability throughout the entire supply chain.
  2. 2. Permanence: Although traditional methods are effective in their own way, the permanence that production line laser marking offers is unmatched. Not only will it stand the test of time, but it can last through physical wear and tear and extreme weather conditions.
  3. 3. Non-contact: Compared to traditional methods, laser marking product quality control is non-contact. The lasers don't have to come into contact with the exact surface of the product to achieve its desired goal. This is beneficial for the product and end user, as well as the versatility of applicable production materials.
  4. 4. Overall efficiency: Among all the benefits of laser marking in quality control, time and cost efficiency are some of the most popular. From a business standpoint, it isn’t hard to see how integrating different types of lasers into your production line can offer a competitive edge on the market, considering changeover is seamless and maintenance is virtually zero.
  5. 5. Automation: Whether you're looking for partial or full automation, laser marking technology can get it done. This is clearly a benefit for time efficiency but also provides more flexibility for employees on the ground floor. Whereas many workers are stationary with traditional machines, this doesn’t have to be the case for laser markers.
  6. 6. Precision: On top of the visual quality, the precision of laser marking product quality control methods is consistent. Regardless of the type of laser head, you can guarantee consistent marking results with every component. It doesn't matter if it is a complex design or a simple number sequence; laser technology is precise and can adapt.

Of course, the way this technology is applied between one manufacturer and the next is bound to vary. However, one thing is certain. Laser marking's adaptability is useful for a diverse set of manufacturing needs, with quality control being just one use case. In fact, laser marking is becoming the new standard and will continue to help manufacturers meet regulations and improve operations. As its adoption increases, the laser marking price and initial investment will become a less significant factor.

Laser Marking Improves Cost Efficiency and Productivity Across Industries

Besides its ability to improve quality control, laser marking offers several key advantages. For one, it reduces waste and increases yields. The minimization of waste due to errors or other issues reduces material consumption. Because of their simple setups, switching between designs and materials reduces downtime and creates faster production runs.

Also, the permanent markings and improved traceability save time and money. For example, product recalls can be addressed in a faster manner, which reduces the resources and costs associated with the process.

Next, laser marking systems have virtually no consumables, such as ink and solvents. This directly reduces your operating costs. Not only that but its automation and efficiency can reduce manual labor requirements and overall labor costs. Finally, faster marking speeds lead to increased production for individual items and larger batches. Faster speeds and more production directly impact the bottom line.

The reality is that the upsides to laser marking technology are clear as day and easily surpass what alternative marking technologies are capable of. Nevertheless, it is understandable if you feel like you still need a little guidance toward the right type of laser for your production and quality control needs. So whether you are looking to add new laser marking technology to your operations or upgrade existing equipment, we have the solutions.

KEYENCE offers a range of laser marking and product quality options that are used by manufacturers worldwide. Our trained team is here to help answer your questions, contact us today and let us know how we can assist.

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