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.
You read that correctly – laser micromachining of metals can be faster and cheaper with fiber laser markers. Their superior beam quality can achieve results similar to traditional machining technologies at less than half the cost! Plus – laser markers can…mark things! Who wouldn’t want one piece of equipment to do several things? And do them so well?
We often talk about our laser markers as being "flexible" and "capable of making many different kinds of marks." Sounds great, doesn’t it? Yes! But what exactly does that mean? Well, it means that depending how the laser is controlled, the mark you make may be just a surface effect – a color change - with little or no material removed, or it can remove significant amounts of material, leaving a groove that you can both see and feel. Below is a list of several types of marks and typical applications for the same. Note that all of these marks were made with a single (flexible!) fiber laser marker.
In our last blog, we explored when laser markers make sense in comparison to other marking technologies. Key reasons included high mark and material variation, fragile material, and mark durability. But did you know laser markers can also be used for machining? Yep - your laser marker can do double duty as a micromachining system!