Choosing a laser marker: guidelines

In the world of Industry 4.0, projected towards the future and the automation of industrial processes, laser marking today plays a leading role, which it has achieved by bypassing all the other systems that compete with it in terms of brand awareness but above all traceability.

Datamatrix-e-logo Choosing a laser marker: guidelines

In terms of technology and integration, laser marking no longer has rivals for a series of now well-known reasons, which are specific to the laser and the state of perfection reached today:

Contrast and visibility: laser marking has a quality and microscopic precision that other systems cannot reach;

Resistance: prints and labels become damaged over time and the codes or texts are no longer visible, this can cause damage both in terms of productivity and the company’s image;

Versatility: due to its intrinsic characteristics, the laser is the most versatile marking method of all. In fact, it is possible to mark any logo or text, as well as 1D/2D codes that vary according to the most disparate needs (simple progression, date and time change, automatic updating of the content according to company logic);

Economic advantage: at first glance, comparing the opportunities on the market, a laser marker might seem like too important an investment. But this is precisely what it is: a long-term investment, with an almost non-existent wear rate and which does not present additional costs linked to consumable materials. To give a practical example, the estimated average life of a fiber laser is 100,000 hours of operation – not of mere switching on – for an objective average of 11 years of continuous work, considering use for 365 days a year, 24 hours per day. Furthermore, from the point of view of additional costs, it should be considered that other technologies, unlike lasers, involve many consumables and waste materials that must be disposed of (just think of paints and inks for pad printing or inkjet systems );

Ecology: referring to the absence of waste materials, it should be underlined that the laser is the best technology from the point of view of environmental safety. Zero waste materials also means fewer chemical and dangerous substances and, at the same time, since the laser is a DPM (Direct Part Marking) technology, we do not add further paper or plastic components to our product.

marcatura-laser Choosing a laser marker: guidelines

How to choose a laser marker?

The first thing to do is define the material or materials you need to mark. This is absolutely necessary as it allows you to define the correct laser source with which to equip your marker.

It is in fact worth noting that there is no laser capable of perfectly marking all materials, there are sources and different pulses that include a more or less vast range of materials. For example, in the case of plastics, tests are usually carried out on the components due to their different chemical composition, which is not always clear to the manufacturer, who does not know that a certain element could compromise the marking effect.

We have created a system to guide you in choosing your laser marker: five simple steps to help us understand what you need to show you the best laser machines for you.

Below we have tried to simplify the concept in order to have a general overview of the applications:

 MetalPlasticOrganic Material
Fiber laser
Green laser
UV laser
CO2 laser

Once the source has been defined – an action for which we always recommend carrying out tests, always free of charge – the other fundamental aspects are:

The number of pieces to mark

This allows us to define whether a rotary table, a certain number of movement axes, a warehouse for automatic loading or other additional tools are needed.

The size of the components

It must always be kept in mind that the part to be marked must be fully equipped in the booth, and therefore fit inside in size, in order to guarantee the safety of the entire process. In fact, according to CE regulations, class I is the only safe category. Consequently, even if you have to mark a few pieces a day, you cannot consider a benchtop system if they measure 500×500 mm.

Additional integrations

Working in combination with a robot, as happens in large production chains, implies that the laser marker must be set up both electrically and mechanically.

Work 24 hours a day

Another request could be that of non-stop laser marker operation. In the case in which you work in line, no modification is clearly necessary, while for the stand alone system it is necessary to equip the machine for processing without an operator.

If so far we have focused on the technical parameters that will allow you to make the right investment while optimizing your time, it is now important to make a small note on the supplier you will have to choose.

automazioni-laser Choosing a laser marker: guidelines

Considering that most laser marking solutions are equipped with fiber lasers, it is fair to say that this has now reached the state of the art, which means that there are few big global players that bring more or less technologies to the market. similar, which do not bring added value to the quality of the result obtained. This means that the fiber optic laser used by LASIT is unlikely to have a better or worse effect than the fiber optic laser of any other high-level competitor.

The real difference and added value lie in the design and construction of the entire apparatus and in the ability to be followed by a team of experts, dedicated to your individual project, which is then developed with the utmost care.

Articolo-Pressofusi-ABB-02-1024x589 Choosing a laser marker: guidelines

LASIT has specialized for years in the production of laser marking systems, for which it is the sole supplier, thus guaranteeing total flexibility and customer care that is difficult to find where there are third parties to consult for advice or assistance. The absence of intermediaries and the total responsibility that we assume in case of need are some of the traits that differentiate us and that have led many large companies to choose us over time.

Another important aspect, with which we conclude, is the company’s history and the rate of specialization. The international market has seen us engaged for thirty years solely and exclusively in the research and development of laser marking systems. Specializing means dedicating the entire team, of more than one hundred people, solely to the search for new cutting-edge methods to guarantee maximum performance for any application

Materials constituting the machine

The first parameter to take into consideration is the structure of the complete system in which the source is inserted. Mainly the frames of laser markers are made of aluminium, steel or – more rarely – granite. Of these, the best for applications where high precision and/or speed of movement is required are steel and granite, which are also the most expensive.

Based on the requests and the application, the structure of the machine changes, adapting to satisfy the requests for efficiency and productivity. Among the most famous elements that are normally requested and recommended we find:

Produttivita-rotomarkx Choosing a laser marker: guidelines

Rotating table

Thanks to the masked time and the different stations, it uses the time of marking the first pallet to load the second.

Rulliera Choosing a laser marker: guidelines

Roller or belt

By automatically transporting the pieces in the machine they avoid the manual intervention of the operator from one step to another in the production chain.

Magazzini-AUTOMATICI Choosing a laser marker: guidelines

Automatic warehouses

It is possible to store hundreds or thousands of pieces inside, allowing processing for hours without the need for an operator.

IntegrazioneRobot Choosing a laser marker: guidelines

Robot

They facilitate the loading of bulky pieces or the movement of the laser head itself, they can position or mark in impossible positions.

Shuttle Choosing a laser marker: guidelines

Shuttle

By moving the entire surface, they facilitate the loading of the bulkier components and protect the doors and cabinet of the laser marker from impacts.

Assi Choosing a laser marker: guidelines

Number of axes

The head moves on the plane through the axes, from the single Z to the XY axis the marking potential changes considerably.

Asse-rotante-diretto-01 Choosing a laser marker: guidelines

Accessories

Another important variable is the need to add accessories to the marker, which optimize the laser engraving system and are sometimes necessary for some specific applications, such as a rotary axis and 3-axis head for cylindrical ones.

Assew Choosing a laser marker: guidelines

Rotating axis

Through the movement of the axis the component can be marked in different points, even where the surface is not flat.

TestaRotante Choosing a laser marker: guidelines

Rotating head

It is used to mark inclined surfaces or surfaces with complex geometries and, above all, to make engravings on multiple angles without having to move the piece.

Testa3Assi-ok Choosing a laser marker: guidelines

Three-axis head

Necessary to ensure the quality of marking on cylindrical surfaces. LASIT can boast the European record of its development in the 1990s.

SistemaVisioneLaterale Choosing a laser marker: guidelines

Vision system

Ideal for self-centering the marking on the detail to be engraved and for verifying the quality of the marked Datamatrix code, in the 4.0 era it is necessary for operators in the sector.

AutoFocus-1 Choosing a laser marker: guidelines

Autofocus system

Fundamental in the case of applications in which a geometric tolerance of the details is required, it allows you to find the right focus distance completely automatically.

Aspiratore Choosing a laser marker: guidelines

Aspirator

If the engraving generates fumes or fine dust, it is necessary to extract it. LASIT has produced its own aspirator, particularly useful for die castings.

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Do you want to know the LASIT solutions for your sector?​

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