Engraving

This page introduces various problems with conventional engraving machines (such as hand engravers, roll markers, and press markers) and how laser markers solve these problems.

Engraver/Laser Marking Characteristics

Advantages Disadvantages
Engraver characteristics
  • Low initial cost
  • Able to mark deeply engraved characters that do not fade
  • Long marking tact time
  • Difficult to change the marking details
  • Difficult to mark rough surfaces and curved surfaces
  • Difficult to mark small characters
  • Applies a load to the product
Laser Marking Characteristics
  • Capable of high-speed marking
  • Easy to change the marking details, which supports multiple models
  • Able to cleanly mark characters on rough surfaces and curved surfaces
  • Able to mark characters 1 mm in size or smaller
  • Can mark the product without applying a load to it
  • High initial cost
  • Difficult to perform deep-engraving (excluding the MD-F Series)

Comparison of Engraving and Laser Marking

Comparison details Laser marker Engraver
Lack of hassle when changing the mark Very good Poor
Marking on rough surfaces and curved surfaces Very good Poor
No impact applied to product Very good Very poor
Marking small characters Very good Acceptable
Support for high-speed lines Good Acceptable

Laser Markers vs. Engravers

Engravers are commonly used to mark metals. However, they're also the devices most commonly replaced by laser markers. Engravers are fine for small manufacturing batches and damage-free marking, but they are difficult to use in high-accuracy, time-sensitive applications.

That's where laser markers come in.

Laser markers support small and large products requirements, can deliver damage-free marks, and don't require part updates whenever a new product is introduced.

1. Example of Improvement from Engravers

Laser Marker Application Examples

Nameplate
Bearings

Key Laser Marking Advantages

1Quality
Clear marking can be performed on products requiring high accuracy. There is no reason to worry about damaging the products.
Small characters can be marked as well, which enables accurate traceability.
2Cost
There is no need to create a different plate templates for each model. Foreign languages and logos can be marked straight from their source data.
3Work efficiency
It's possible to completely eliminate a large portion of required work, such as tooling changes, marking detail adjustments and overall engraving time.
4Environment
There is no need to worry about developing tendinitis from repetitive operations. This leads to major improvements in the work environment.

Laser Markers vs. Die Grinders

Die grinders are used to perform simple markings on metal and precision components. Unfortunately, the marking quality varies greatly from operator to operator because of skill differences. Marking flat surfaces is fairly simple, but even skilled operators have difficulty marking on curved surfaces and small products.

Laser markers enable anyone to easily perform accurate marking with very little training.

2. Improvement from Die Grinders

Laser Marker Application Examples

Implants
Precision component

Key Laser Marking Advantages

1Quality
Accurate part management can be performed regardless of who's operating the machine. Clear marking is also possible on curved surfaces and small products, which contributes to product image improvements.
2Work efficiency
Tens of characters are marked in an instant, which greatly reduces the amount of work that is required.
3Environment
Cutting waste is eliminated, which improves the surrounding environment.

Laser Markers vs. Pin Markers

Pin markers create marks by oscillating at a high speed and are commonly used in automated lines. The pin tip forcefully strikes a product, so problems like pin tip wear, drive component deterioration and noise are common.

Laser markers don't require maintenance, do not use consumable parts and don't generate noise... leading to major improvements in the work environment. Laser markers also contribute to the stable reading of 2D codes thanks to contrast marking.

3. Improvement from Pin Markers

Laser Marker Application Examples

Automotive component
2D code marking

Key Laser Marking Advantages

1Quality
Since laser's don't use pins, there's no risk of the marking quality deteriorating as the pin degrades. Laser markers can also create 2D codes with both black and white portions, whereas pin markers rely on shading.
2Cost
Pin markers require soundproof walls as a countermeasure against noise, periodic part replacement and regular maintenance. Laser markers don't.
3Work efficiency
The marking tact time and the work required to perform periodic maintenance can be greatly reduced.
4Environment
No noise is generated, which greatly contributes to work environment improvements.

Laser Marking vs. Galvanic Corrosion (Etching)

Galvanic corrosion (etching) applies an electrolyte to a metal and then runs a current through the metal to blacken it. This method is used when permanent, damage-free marking is required. However, galvanic corrosion requires chemical management, individual plate templates and the operator time required to create a mark.

Laser markers can create black characters without damaging a part and without using chemicals or plates. This greatly reduces the amount of work required and improves overall work environment.

4. Improvement from Galvanic Corrosion and Etching

Laser Marker Application Examples

Cutting tool
Precision metal component

Key Laser Marking Advantages

1Quality
Clear marking that does not damage the product is possible on flat surfaces and curved surfaces.
2Cost
Increasing the operating time of the laser marker leads to major reductions in labor costs.
3Work efficiency
Eliminate the need for plate templates, chemical application, masking, etching, and then cleaning (neutralizing). Short deadlines can be met even when manufacturing a large number of products.
4Environment
There is no need to manage chemicals, which greatly contributes to work environment improvements.

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