There are a lot of reasons for identifying products in processing and logistics.
Traditionally, most markings have been used for product control and tracking. Introducing manufacture standards according to DIN ISO 9000 required new methods regarding quality management and identification. But these are not the only reasons to advance permanent marking. There is a growing demand for unique and durable product identification to secure property rights, to protect plagiarism or to provide a basis for a possibly occurring product liability.
The decision on which technique is finally used mainly depends on whether the marking requires durability or not.
While marking techniques like label printing or inkjet coding are known as temporary identification methods, laser marking becomes more and more established among the durable, industrial product identification methods.
Laser marking provides fast, precise markings with excellent reading results on a wide range of materials and without any mechanical action. The highly focused, invisible infrared laser light generates a great energy transfer that causes physical and chemical interactions at the work piece surface. Reaction can be strong enough to cause the evaporation of the material and thus an engraving or cut.
The lasers enable to mark fonts, graphics and standardized codes in the intensity needed. Markings can be realized on materials that tend to change color in oxidation without damaging the surface. This feature is used for marking products with high demands on surface, mainly for marking stainless steels in the field of biomechanics and the manufacture of medical instruments.
One other significant advantage is that laser marking does work without consumables. This avoids cost- intensive downtimes and related to this production failures. Laser systems are always integrated into production processes with large throughput and high demand on availability.
cab is using diode pumped Ytterbium Fiber Laser systems FL10 and FL20. Highest beam quality and pulse peak power allow markings on a wide range of materials like steel, aluminum, precious metals and plastics.
The laser marking systems consist of a laser source as desktop unit or 19“ rack and a fiber-coupled galvo head for beam deflection. The marking head provides to integrate different plano-spherical lenses. The laser source has integrated air-cooling and a modular design. The development of the FL series especially focuses on industrial use.
The high-focused laser beam and first pulse suppression provide marking results up to a resolution of 1000 dpi – perfect conditions for marking two-dimensional codes on sensitive materials. Even at high ambient temperatures the laser systems are working most precise and fast. Small fonts, graphics or logos – everything is marked in correct position and true to the original.
The output power of the laser is reached by parallel connection of multiple diodes whose MTBF (mean time between failure) is more than 50.000 hours. Consequently, “trouble-free” control of single diodes as well as long operating life is attained, even at high environmental temperatures (up to 42°). Fiber lasers are adjustment-insensible and maintenance-free.
The average power consumption of 400 Watts requires energy costs amounting to less than 3 cents/hour. The integrated diagnostic system shows the device’s status. Either modules or the whole device can be exchanged fast and easily.
cablase provides both a multilingual user interface and a freely programmable interface. The software can be installed on a standard PC without additional PC interface cards, under the operating systems Windows XP or Windows 7. Additionally, an extensive library that contains control commands for the laser system and scanning head helps to respond to even complex demands as for example „marking on the fly“. In addition, cablase offers the possibility to control and to supervise external NC axes and digital in- and outputs. The processing of variable data as well as access to external data bases is given. An integrated "live" preview helps the user to manage the jobs.
As a system supplier cab offers a wide range of standard solutions with particular focus on the industrial laser safety housing LSG 100. The pneumatic driven door, numerical z-axis for automatic focus adjustment and a lot more options make the LSG100 perfect to have marking questions professionally solved. For special tasks, like type plate marking, different modules are available that can be integrated into the housing.
The marking of non-transferable security labels already used in the automotive manufacture becomes more and more important. Especially for that purpose and based on the expert knowledge in the field of label printing, cab as leading manufacturer of transfer printers developed the label marking system, called LM. The LM enables to generate labels out of endless or pre-cut material by the use of a laser marking system.
- From cab Technologies