Fundamentals of Leser Marking
What is laser marking?
Laser marking is a process to mark materials using a fine spot diameter laser beam and is widely used for putting marks such as brand name, best-before-date, serial numbers, on a variety of materials.
Various marking methods
There are a lot of marking methods to choose from considering materials to be marked, costs, marking conditions, etc.
Major marking methods are as follows:
• Laser marking
Irradiate a laser beam on a material to change and color it. Marking contents can be easily changed using a software. Clear fine marking even on tiny parts is possible.
• Inkjet printing
Shoots a jet of micro-particles of ink to mark with dots. An inkjet printer used with a personal computer, and a printing machine of industrial-use to mark best-before date on laminated film are the major applications.
• Ink stamping
Presses ink-supplied relief or intaglio onto an object to mark. This is the most popular method from the past. Though the equipment is less expensive, running cost is relatively high; additionally, it requires to control ink.
Presses a numbering head, to which desired marks such as letter, character are engraved, onto an object. This is widely accepted for marking on metal. While the mark is very reliable and ever-lasting, this method is less productive and needs much time to change the head.
What is laser marker?
Laser marker is to mark texts and drawings directly on materials such as metals and plastics using a fine spot laser. Miyachi's laser marker moves a spot laser beam to engrave, anneal, vaporize or remove a surface of material, resulting in a clear marking. No ink is needed.
Advantages of laser marking
• Environmentally friendly and easy recycling.
No solvent is required unlike the marking with ink. Since no ink adheres to base material, it is recycled easily. Laser marking generally requires no post-process finishing operations, so manufacturing process is also reduced remarkably.
• Marking not erasable
Lasers produce contrasting, high quality marks that never wear out unlike the ink-using method. This marking complies with quality control requirements in PL Laws and ISO International Standard.
• Fine marking
Lasers are capable of fine marking which inkjet marking can never perform. Laser marking is the best suitable choice for marking on microelectronic parts.
• Easy to design and change marking contents
The marking software is easy to use, so can design marks easily and can switch to other marks easily at your PC. Laser markers are suitable even for a small-volume production of diversified products.
• Productivity-improving and labor-saving
The high-speed marking contributes to improvement in productivity. Easy maintenance saves labor. Production line can be easily automated and operates unmanned even in the nighttime.
• Wide range of laser-markable materials
Various materials such as plastic, ceramics, semiconductors, paper, glass are acceptable; in addition, laser marking also accepts materials with oil film in which inkjet marking has difficulties.