LASER MARKING IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
Automotive laser etching has been used to mark even the smallest of automotive parts such as ignition coils, radiator caps, cylinder heads, various valve covers. Automotive parts marking is capable of creating marks such as basic alphanumeric codes, data matrix codes, barcodes, part numbers, and even QR codes.
An effective tracking system for parts ensures that the right part goes into the right car every single time. In case of failure of any single part, the same tracking system can also help in identifying the root cause of the failure and correcting the problem.
Laser etching technology is so precise and accurate that it can even be used to make traceability marks on the printed circuit boards (or PCB’s) that control the electronics in a car. These parts are so fragile, and the corresponding markings are so small that there is probably no other technology that can make the marks so accurately and yet handle the individual electronic parts without damaging them.
Automotive laser marking has also been used to make labels on the interior parts of the car. These include the labels on the speedometer and the buttons of the car radio. Safety-related devices in the interior of the car, such as seatbelt and airbag components, are meticulously marked to document them as being quality-tested. Engravings on various parts, such as gear numbers on the shift stick and the car manufacturer’s logo on the dashboard, are also rapidly and accurately made using automotive laser technology.
Automotive parts that you think that the manufacturer would not bother marking, such as windshield wipers and side mirrors, are probably still very subtly marked. Beyond identifying these parts in the production line, having unique codes even on the most basic parts of a car is an effective measure against counterfeit or imitation parts.
Aside from etching, laser technology has also been used in the automotive industry for cutting of custom-shaped fabrics and textiles. Aside from the flexibility in the shapes that laser cutting can produce, the contactless nature of the process ensures that the material being cut does not undergo deformation or secondary damage.