Direct Part Marking with Laser Marking Systems

Direct part marking, also known as DPM, is a cornerstone of many aspects of manufacturing. It is the process of creating permanent markings on parts' surfaces. While the process can be adjusted slightly, it most commonly relates to QR codes, data matrix codes, and serial numbers. Below is a brief overview of DPM with laser marking systems.

What is Direct Part Marking?

DPM is a vital component of many industries within manufacturing, and it includes several methods.

Some of these include the following:

Of all the methods included in the DPM process, laser systems are leading the way in modern innovation.

Advantages of Laser Systems for Direct Part Marking

Direct part marking laser systems are widely sought after in manufacturing as they deliver efficiency, guaranteed permanent markings, and crystal-clear readability.

  • Markings at the Start: Unlike many other direct part marking machines, laser systems allow organizations to handle markings at the start of production.
  • Permanent results: With more traditional direct part marking methods, permanent markings can be almost impossible to achieve. Laser systems guarantee permanent markings by etching the material.
  • Clear readability: Laser-driven direct part marking equipment is easy to read. It offers pristine detail with even the smallest print, and it's bound to stand the test of time.

Direct part marking for manufacturing has numerous applications, but it’s important to recognize that there are different laser marking types to consider.

Types of Direct Part Marking Equipment

The manufacturing industry has found applications for quite a few types of DPM equipment, and it’s helpful to highlight their core differences. First and foremost, laser marking encompasses several types of laser work.

Of the different types actively used, engraving, oxidizing, etching, and annealing are the most widely used in the manufacturing industry. Laser markers have vast capabilities that have improved the cost and time efficiency of this process.

Newer technologies will emerge in the future, but UV laser markers are at the top of the food chain for many people in this industry. The cold-marking technique prevents heat stress, which has proven extremely valuable for this industry, and the smaller beam spot allows for pristine marks on even the smallest components.

Comparison of Laser Direct Part Marking Methods

What methods are used for direct part marking? The process has several popular methods, each with its own use case and strengths. The table below highlights key points between different DPM methods.

Laser Marking Method Description
Laser Marking Method
Used to create machine-readable codes and works best with parts subjected to high abrasion, due to the greater depth of the mark.
Laser Marking Method
This is the fastest process on the list. It melts material quickly and can produce raised or indented marks based on the parameters used. This makes it a great choice for all kinds of metals.
Laser Marking Method
It focuses on creating a chemical reaction underneath the material surface. By dispersing the beam over a larger area, it can create a great contrast with no surface damage to the part.
Laser Marking Method
Utilized for more intensive work with logos, codes, and even character designs.

Whether we’re discussing fiber laser markers or hybrid and CO2 designs, each brings a unique benefit to the industry.

Materials Compatible with Laser Direct Part Marking

Part of what makes this process so valuable to manufacturing is its adaptability to a long list of material types. Metal might be a focal point in our day and age, but it goes far beyond this broad category.

Here are a few materials that are compatible with laser DPM:

The list is much bigger than these few, which showcases the importance of the tools behind the process.

Final Thoughts

Direct part marking has changed quite a bit over the years, becoming more efficient and reliable than ever. Moreover, consumers benefit from the quality and longevity of modern marking technology.

To explore how laser systems can aid your manufacturing processes, contact KEYENCE to discuss how our tools can support your organization.