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Uses of Laser Engraving
Laser engraving is typically used when a shallow mark – such as a logo, barcode, image or text – is needed to be applied to an object. The engraved mark is created by subjecting a surface area to localised heat. As part of the engraving process, the heat generated from the laser beam removes a thin layer from the surface (no more than 0.001”) by melting the area, which in turn, also expands and elevates the engraved boundary of the mark. The end result is a contrasting mark that is smooth to the touch.
The laser engraving process is used in dozens of industries including jewellers, automotive, electronics, aerospace, firearms, construction equipment, medical and more.
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The laser engraving method is most often used in Direct Part Marking (DPM); a process used to track the lifecycle of parts and components as they progress throughout the manufacturing process and supply chain journey. As governmental regulations become increasingly stringent, manufacturing and production houses find that the engraving process offers a permanent, robust and speedy solution for marking the relevant information needed for traceability. In particular, to help resolve liability issues in the event of warranty disputes or product recalls.
For example, a car manufacturer would need to engrave individual component, subassembly, system and the final car assembly codes, in order to track the manufacturing process of each car. The laser engraving method is ideal for this type of marking, as it is a quick and permanent solution that is not affected overtime by the heat of the engine.
Similarly, tools and devices within the medical industry need to comply with the Unique Device Identifier (UDI) guidelines. Parts and products such as hip stems, bone plats, catheters and surgical tools, must have a permanent code for traceability and quality assurance. The non-contact laser engraving technique is perfect for such application. It creates a permanent mark that would last for years and is corrosion resistant.