Fading or disappearing laser marks on medical devices? You're not alone. It's a daily battle for many contract manufacturers and end users, and it’s a topic I am often asked about. People especially want to know what they can do to make passivation resistant marks on their medical device parts and surgical tools in order to meet unique device identification (UDI) requirements.
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.
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.
Product identification, serialization and tracking are key elements for any production environment. Parts are labeled with all kinds of marks: alpha-numeric serial numbers, date stamps, barcodes, etc.. There are a lot of marking methods available out there including dot-peen, chemical etching, pad printing, ink-jet printing, and laser marking. As manufacturers of laser markers and laser marking systems, we, of course, believe that there are many good reasons why laser marking makes sense in your manufacturing operation?