Fiber Laser Markers Have Risen
There is no denying that modern technology has paved the road for new possibilities in almost all industrial settings. Amongst many of these magnificent inventions, the laser continues to play a crucial role for countless businesses. In fact, laser marking is one of the most popular and cost-effective customization methods for small businesses, large industries, and local crafters alike.
A Brief History of Fiber Laser MarkingIn 1954, Arthur Schawlow and Charles Townes invented the ‘maser’ which stands for Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. The groundbreaking invention led the duo to propose the invention of a more advanced form of technology in 1958. That’s when the laser or Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation was launched. Townes and Schawlow authored a scientific document detailing their invention’s theoretical operation, inspiring hundreds of scientists worldwide.
Elias Snitzer, the man behind fiber lasers, also made notable contributions to fiber optics and laser industries. While fiber lasers date back to 1963, it took almost two decades to use them for commercial production.
Fiber laser markers feature a wavelength of 1090 nm and can mark various materials, including hard plastics and metals. The high power is ideal for deep engraving on metal and black-annealed marking. However, fiber laser markers are not suited for transparent marking objects, such as glass.
Understanding How Fiber Laser Marking WorksThe term LASER stands for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. A laser beam starts as an atom, stimulated to discharge particles of light that can be concentrated and directed toward a particular area. We measure this released energy in nanometers or wavelengths. Go for higher wavelengths if you are looking for a powerful laser-beam.
Laser marking refers to a process that employs a concentrated light beam for producing a permanent mark on a surface. A focused beam of light interacts with the material’s surface, changing the material's appearance and properties. Since the concentrated beam focuses on a specific area, the fiber laser marker makes accurate and high-contrast marks on the surface. A fiber laser functions at 1070 nm to mark harder materials such as metals and hard plastics.
Unlike labeling, printing, or other non-permanent marking processes, fiber laser marking does not use any consumables.
Applications of Fiber Laser Marking MachinesFiber laser marking machines are popular among various manufacturers and local crafters in applications like custom branding, part identification, or traceability. Here are some of the most common industrial applications that utilize fiber laser marking to maintain a smooth production flow:
Medical DevicesMedical equipment manufacturers follow strict standards in terms of size, position, and content of the marking. Since healthcare devices are used in adverse conditions, all markings must withstand corrosion, acid, sterilization, and high temperatures. Fiber Lasers have proven to be the best way to meet these rigorous demands. Here are a couple of examples of their applications:
- Classification of medical prostheses: Medical prostheses must have a logo or a medical number. Fiber laser markers can mark these parts for easy and quick identification.
- Traceability of medical equipment: Internal medical professionals must efficiently track and locate all medical devices and tools in their hospitals. Fiber laser marking helps them recognize each instrument through the sterilization procedure.
Jewelry EngravingFiber Laser markers can work on precious stones such as silver and gold. Manufacturers can also benefit from fiber laser marking to work on smaller pieces such as earrings or rings with the help of an 80 mm jewelry jig. Here are some popular applications of fiber laser markers in the jewelry industry.
- Customization: Create inscriptions on various jewels to commemorate a lover, family member, or friend.
- Easier Identification: Fiber laser marking can add numbers or text to the jewel for easy recognition.
- Brand names: Brands inscribe their company logos or names to distinguish their jewelry accessories from those of competitors.
- Insurance requirements: Some insurance agencies require jewelry accessories to be inscribed for coverage.
BarcodesBefore the commercial introduction of barcodes, retailers had no universal method to track sold items or existing products. Using barcodes has helped countless businesses track products and manage inventory. Fiber laser markers can mark barcodes on materials such as copper, brass, steel, and aluminum. However, these machines also work on plastics, carbon compounds, ceramics, etc.
Automotive and Electronic IndustriesThe automotive industry is one of the largest consumers of fiber laser markers. A standard car comprises nearly 30,000 parts made of copper, steel, aluminum, plastic, or special fibers. Since all these parts vary in size and shape, there is no accessory better than fiber laser markers to help identify these parts and components.
Here are some of the applications of fiber laser marking in the automotive industry:
- Marking seat belt components to add valuable info such as serial numbers, country of origin, and barcodes.
- Marking buttons and various components on the dashboard, which are visible during the daylight.
- Marking spark plugs made out of materials such as ceramics.
Signage for Business SignsCreate customized signs and nameplates for unique business displays.
ElectronicsMarking different parts and features of smartphones, laptops, TVs, and other equipment.
Marking Hard PlasticsFiber laser marking is an excellent way to mark hard plastics—for instance, Airpod and jewelry cases.
Metal FabricationSimilar to the automotive industry, laser marking is also ideal for marking airplane parts.
Benefits of Using Fiber Laser Marking MachinesHere are some benefits of using a high-quality fiber laser marking machine.
- Fast production
- Ultimate accuracy
- Easy Application
When working with fiber laser machines, overlooking safety concerns can lead to serious consequences. For that reason, wearing protective gear is critical. Invest in a high-quality pair of protective goggles that protect the retina from harmful emissions. When working with a Class IV laser, users must wear protective gear to shield their eyes. Not to mention, a small mistake can lead to poor or complete vision loss.