The automotive industry is another industry that benefits from the use of laser engraving technology to comply with traceability standards. Every vehicle – whether it’s a car, bus, motorcycle, farm machinery, or construction equipment – needs to be marked with a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) once it leaves the manufacturing facility. The VIN is a 17-character serial number that is commonly marked at various components of the vehicle such as the chassis and the engines. Moreover, automotive manufacturers regularly make their own marks on their parts, whether to serve their own tracking system or simply to provide branding.
Laser machines have been used for years by automotive manufacturers for their ability to produce tamper-proof and easily identifiable marks. It’s also a fast procedure that will fit right into any manufacturing process without slowing it down – a 17-character VIN can be laser marked in approximately 4 seconds. Being a non-contact method, automotive parts do not need to be clamped down before marking, avoiding secondary damage.
Without the need to use fixtures or clamps, laser etching stainless steel also has unequalled flexibility in terms of marking newly designed and modified automotive parts.
The automotive industry needs large-scale, reliable marking. Laser engraving stainless steel is an almost 100% automated process, producing consistent, reliable results. This streamlines the manufacturing process, reducing potentially expensive scrap.
Integration of a laser solution into the existing manufacturing process is made particularly easy with out-of-the-box turnkey solutions. Modern laser etching equipment has been designed to be easy to learn and use.
Designs need not be made on any proprietary software, as most laser marking applications can import files created from the most common design software. Marking with dynamic data, such as part numbers and batch numbers, is well within the standard capabilities of most laser applications.
NON-CONTACT, FAST TECHNOLOGY
Laser engraving for automotive parts is the only non-contact technology used to mark equipment parts and traceability codes. This reduces wear and tear on the parts of the laser marking equipment - reducing repair and replacement parts. The contactless technology also reduces the chance of damage during the process, which can often be seen in more traditional marking methods such as dot-preen engraving.
Laser marking technology is also incredibly fast. Even highly detailed designs, such as small barcodes or QR codes on PCB’s, hardly take more than 5 seconds to finish.
Laser engraving marks are precise and accurate, as well as legible and permanent. This is incredibly important in automotive parts that experience incredibly high temperatures and frictional forces, such as components of the braking system or piston engine parts.
For example, a brake rotor can heat up to a temperature of 900 °F when brakes are engaged at high speed, making a part number that does not degrade with heat particularly important.
Compared to other methods of marking of automotive parts, laser etching technology is much more cost efficient. This is due to full automation and fewer moving parts, reducing workforce required and part replacement costs.
Contactless laser technology also reduces the likelihood of production defects, as well as any need for costly waste disposal.
Automotive laser etching is a well developed technology with various turnkey solutions, making it easy to integrate into any production line. Our laser marking system commonly comes bundled with its own software package which has been designed to be user-friendly.
The system can work with dynamic data to make progressive marks with minimal user intervention. Being almost entirely automated, laser marking systems are not labour intensive and will free up technical operators to concentrate on the more involved steps of the manufacturing process. The low level of user intervention also means that laser engraving technology is highly accurate and reliable. Since laser marking systems have very few moving parts, its maintenance needs are also lower compared to other similar technologies.
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The 3-side door lifts open giving you wider access to mark larger parts and components. If you’re looking to mark stainless-steel tubes, exhaust pipes or other over-sized items – the U-shaped opening makes it incredibly simple to place the part within the machine and start marking.