Laser Marking Systems

What are LASERS?

LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. The radiation in this case is a wavelength of light and that light is transferred into a coherent monochromatic beam of light energy. Think of the beam of light as one wavelength of light intensely bounced back and forth between a source and then shot out in either a continuous or pulsed wave. We isolate the wavelengths by shooting the beam of light through different mediums.

These mediums produce common wavelengths 355nm (UV), 1064nm (Fiber), and 10,600 (CO2). Different wavelengths are absorbed by different materials.  Each laser has a laser source that allows light to pass through it amplifying the effect.  The photons are then bombarded onto the surface of the product where they burn/etch the image.  LASERS are considered permanent and are an excellent way to quickly apply an image that is counterfeit resistant.

Laser Marked Bar Code

parts of a laser

Some of the critical components of the laser are the laser source, galvanometer, also commonly called a galvo, and lens.  The source builds the energy and then shoots the energy into the galvanometer.  The galvanometer redirects this energy through a series of rotating mirrors onto the part through the lens.  To the left we can see the power supply for the galvo along with the red light generator.  The red light generator allows a separate laser image to be cast onto the part before the part is marked to insure the mark is exactly where the operator wants it. 

 

On the right is an image of the galvo with the lens removed and the laser moving the galvanometer’s mirrors quickly in rapid succession over the part.

Focus Matters

The focal distance of a laser is extremely important. The light comes out of the lens as a concentrated beam but requires a precise distance to transfer the photons onto the part. This is a bit like holding a magnifying glass up to the sun and concentrating it’s energy onto a piece of wood. The lens size determines the marking area.
A larger lens allows a larger marking area on a part, but detail is sacrificed. Most customers prefer a lens size around 100mm (around 4 inches) as a good balance between detail and marking size.

Different Wavelengths for Different Substrates

Materials absorb different wavelengths at different rates. This means one source (or one laser type) could mark one substrate but might not mark another. For example, clear substrates and ceramics usually do not react to fiber lasers but usually mark easily with UV lasers.

We offer free sample marking to make sure your substrate is marked with the best possible image.

Software Equals Flexibility

Our easy-to-use software is based on EZ Cad which allows users to import graphics, create shapes, write words, adjust text size and font, create dynamic imaging and so much more.  This means images can change on-the-fly.  All of our laser systems come pre-loaded with the ability to mark bar codes, QR codes, micro-QR Codes, automatically count items, time stamp, increase serial numbers and more.  

Want to place a QR code directed to a specific site?  It is easy with software that does the heavy lifting for you.  Just type and go.

3D Capabilities and Rotational Printing

Round parts add a degree of difficulty when printing due to the Z-axis (height) changing.  There are two ways to combat this.  Using a 3D laser will allow a 90 degree portion of the round part to be printed on without rotating it.  Our software provides rotational printing capabilities out of the box.  Hook up a

Safety

Laser safety is essential.  Improper use can result in damage to skin and especially eyes.  Marking lasers are all classified as Class 4 lasers, which is the highest classification of lasers whereas these lasers can cause devastating eye damage, significant skin damage, and ignite substrates.

Automark lasers can be manufactured with FDA certified enclosures to insure a Class 4 laser is reduced to Class 1, which is the safest type of laser possible.  It is important to discuss with your Automark representative the safety goals ahead of purchasing.

Need Something Custom?

Have a special project or need special considerations?  We have you covered.  Whether it is robotic integration like the machines shown here, or special fixturing, we can build and assemble a laser system to take into account your group’s requirements.  We begin by learning about the integration of the product and then virtually build it.  The result?

A one-of-a-kind solution specially designed for a unique application.  The cost?  The prices of these systems are very comparable with standard models.  Contact us today to learn how we can help your group.