Production floors can be hectic places with high demands and a need for 100 percent accuracy. One common way of systemizing process flow is to use production routers or travelers with barcodes. This technique ensures that the proper steps are followed to produce the part. It can also be used to insert quality checks at key points and to identify bottlenecks.
Topics: laser marking
The e-cigarette industry is evolving rapidly. When e-cigs first came on the market, production rates and volumes were low – the earliest e-cig manufacturing lines had a production goal of about 30-50 e-cigs per minute. As demand for e-cigs has increased, manufacturers have been pushing production volumes dramatically – production goals of 300 or more e-cigs per minute are now being required. As production rates increase, new technologies are needed to support a robust manufacturing process that can keep up with the growing volumes while maximizing yield and reducing scrap.
Manufacturers of electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) are gearing up to meet the huge spike in demand for their product. A key challenge of increasing e-cig manufacturing line volume is welding the atomizer - a heating element comprised of a thin wire wrapped around a wick – to the terminals. Welding solutions have been evolving rapidly. Here’s a look at some of our early investigations helping manufacturers determine which welding technology is best to meet this demand.
Miyachi America is best known for its resistance and laser welding technologies. To complement these well-established processes, Micro TIG welding was recently added to our product line. The Micro TIG process expands our process offering, particularly for materials such as copper. This blog veers away from our normal, application specific format to provide a quick introduction to the Micro TIG process:
Most industrial laser marking applications are small and precise. But every now and then, an application comes along requiring a large area mark – with fill - and that generally means long process times, which no manufacturer likes to hear. Fortunately, there are several tricks of the trade that can greatly reduce process time, and, in some cases, the optimized process time can be significantly improved.
Laser micromachining is a process used to make tiny features in parts - measured in micrometers or millimeters. Pulsed lasers effectively complete this work by depositing very small, finite amounts of energy into a material, resulting in extremely precise and reproducible material removal. Suitable deposition of energy enables the laser to ablate, cut, drill, machine or scribe a material. A number of pulsed lasers are available for micromachining; in these examples, we used a 20W single mode pulsed fiber laser marker.
Not long ago, I discussed some of the factors you should consider when deciding which marking technology to use: material type, part function, geometry, surface finish/roughness, coating, mark quality, mark dimension/part size, and serialization - all play a part in this process. Today’s post digs a bit deeper into selecting the right marking technology for your specific application by looking at a concise listing of the pros and cons of each of the major marking technologies: inkjet, dot peen, chemical etching, and laser marking.
Product traceability over its complete lifecycle is one of the key issues driving marking technology today. Manufacturers are looking for cradle-to-grave traceability to improve product quality and make sure all their suppliers fall in line with quality standards. Oh, and let’s not forget they also want to make it easier and less costly to engage in product recalls.
Laser marking is rapidly replacing older product marking technology, especially for direct marking applications which aid in tracking and traceability. From medical devices to automotive and aerospace parts, part information is showing up everywhere, either in the form of human readable alphanumerics and barcodes or Data-Matrix™ codes. Laser marking is a fast, clean marking technology, which also has benefits like flexible automation, improved environmental profile, and low cost of ownership. There are a few different technologies out there - and the “best” one for your application depends on the kind of mark you’re trying to make, and the material you’re using.
Laser marking is a great way to produce dark marks on stainless steels; by precisely controlling the laser and heat input, you can get an oxide layer to build up on the part, which, in turn, produces the characteristic appearance without melting the material.