Product labelling is an important aspect of every industry as it is a significant way of identifying products and parts. Product labels are informative tags that are attached to the products or its packaging. The labels have product numbers and other relevant information that can be used to track the package in case of loss or delay.
Initially, the labels were in the form of printed stickers that were pasted onto the items. These labels were not very reliable as they would fall off after a while. They could also be easily peeled off and forged to form counterfeits. As the printed information easily faded or came off making it very difficult to read over a period of time. These difficulties were overcome by the method of laser marking.
What is laser marking?
Laser marking is the method of marking or labelling of workpieces with the use of a laser beam. Different processes are used for marking the items depending on the required label quality and the material of the product.
Some of the most commonly used laser marking processes are given below.
The laser beam causes localized heating on the surface of the workpiece. The heating effect causes oxidation and the colour of the material changes. The colours vary between yellow, green and red depending on the temperature of the surface. Annealing is commonly used for marking metal products as they oxidize easily.
Laser etching is a subset of laser engraving. In the etching process, the laser beam causes the material to melt at the surface. The melted material expands and forms slight bumps on the surface in the shape of the marks. Laser etching can be done on bare, anodized or plated metal surfaces, ceramics and polymers.
In carbonization, the laser heats up the material and causes oxygen, hydrogen or a combination of both the gases to be released from the heated material. Due to the release of these gases, the material is discoloured in shades of grey, black or blue-grey to form a permanent mark. Carbonization is used for marking plastics, biopolymers, polymers as well as organic materials like wood and leather.
Laser engraving is the process of melting and vaporising the material on the surface of the workpiece. The engraved marks form ridges and cavities on the workpiece. Engraving is one of the fastest ways to mark with lasers and can be used to mark products made of various materials.
Advantages of Laser Marking
There are many advantages of using laser marking to label your workpieces or products. Some of these benefits are:
the Marks done with lasers do not degrade due to the environmental factors easily.
The marks made by a laser are difficult to remove and replicate, which ensures that the products are very difficult to be forged.
laser marking is a non-contact process and does not cause any internal or thermal stress to the workpiece.
Laser marking can be done on very small products without damaging them. The visibility of these markings is also very high.
- Cost of operation:
the operational cost of the laser marker is very low as it does not require any filler materials.
- Processing efficiency
The computer controlled laser beam can move at high speeds so that marking can be done in a very short time.
Laser marking can be used for marking a variety of metals, non-metals and other materials. Due to its versatility laser marking has gained popularity in almost all the industries. This has led various companies to offer laser markers specifically designed to suit your products. We are one such company that offers custom-built laser markers that are built to take care of all your marking needs.