Laser engraving metal for traceability
Metal laser engraver technology has become so useful that it is now being used in both big industries and small-scale applications. Industrial parts such as pipes, fittings, pump casings, and motor parts often receive the metal engraving machine treatment for parts numbers, tracking numbers, serial numbers and company branding.
For manufacturers of these engineering parts, a good traceability system is a vital part of quality monitoring. The use of a laser etching machine for metal ensures that these traceability marks are permanent and will remain legible for a long time – especially useful for parts that undergo a lot of friction and heat.
Engineering parts and tools go through a lot of stress under normal use. Pipe fittings come into constant contact with reactive fluids, motor parts are in a constant state of vibration, while the regular use of tools results in eventual wear and tear. For proper traceability, it is critical that essential marks can withstand abrasion, heat, and corrosive fluids. All of these are achievable by using a metal engraving machine, although different treatments can be used for different materials and applications.
It is also essential that the structural integrity of the part or tool marked does not suffer because of the etching process. A metal engraving machine removes only a thin layer of metal material to make permanent marks – not enough to cause any structural damage. The technology of annealing metal is especially interesting, as it does not remove material at all but instead alters the metal at a molecular level to result in a change of colour.