Surface Annealing Processes Laser Annealing

  • Draws carbon and/ or oxides from the base material to get contrasting mark.
  • Marking beam produces sharp contrasting line to surrounding area with little or no penetration.
  • Excellent for applications such as medical implants, bearings, tooling, or other applications where a smooth, undamaged surface and contrast is important.

Surface Etching Laser Etching

  • Ability to change the surface finish of a metal thus altering its reflectivity and enhancing contrast.
  • Penetration depth is typically no more than 0.0001” deep.
  • One of the most common forms of laser marking.

Ablating Laser Ablating

  • Removes a coating, paint, or other surface treatment from a base material to create contrast without damaging the base material.
  • Typically done with anodized aluminum, backlit buttons, and painted steel.

Thermal Marking Laser Marking

  • Controls heat using different Laser parameters such as marking speed, pulse frequency, power and focus.
  • Applied to certain alloys resulting in color variations (i.e. titanium).

Engrave Marking Laser Engraving

  • Vaporization of base material sufficient to produce depth required, typically 0.0001” to 0.005”
  • Vaporization process identical to surface etching
  • Increased depth of the mark requires repeated passes

Specialty Marking Laser Coding

  • Commonly used in plastics
  • Contrast can occur naturally in some plastics by heat or coupling with a wavelength causing a chemical change
  • Additives can be used with most plastics to achieve different colors
  • One of the examples of Specialty Marking is Product Traceability shown below:

    • Product Traceability is the ability of a manufacturer to trace a product through its processing procedures and to also have the ability to re-trace a product back to the manufacturer.
    • It is the ability to trace the history, application or location of an entity by means of recorded identifications.
    • Having equipment itself, like barcode printers, Ink Jet, Scanners, Print & Apply Systems etc. will not be enough. The combination of all information makes traceability.
    • In most cases, product traceability is monitored by the use of a part or lot number.
    • By assigning a lot number/label to the products a company has the ability to single out quality related issues, improve inventory accountability, distinguish product for individual customers and maintain inventory control.
  • Product Traceability systems are being used to help the overall quality in the manufacturing process.
  • Product Traceability also provides a company the ability to store and retrieve the events that took place during processing and the ability to monitor and change those processes.