Laser part marking technology is becoming more and more important in all realms of manufacturing, from automotive to aerospace and medical industries. This is because of the growing demand from manufacturers and federal regulations to be able to track and trace products throughout their lifecycle.
One of the most common questions we get is “How do I choose the right marking technology for my application?” The truth is, marking and engraving technology is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and there are a number of factors that go into choosing the best solution for your application.
So, before you invest in marking equipment for your plant, here are three main considerations to help you in choosing the best laser technology:
Your first consideration is the type of material you’re going to be marking. We like to break materials down into two main classifications: Organic or non-organic.
Organic materials are those like wood, glass, plastic or paper products. Metals, steel, cast aluminum—anything that will spark when you put it into a microwave (although we don’t recommend doing that!)—is considered non-organic material.
2. Type of Mark
Now that you’ve determined your material, what do you want the mark to look like? Are you looking for deep marks? Do you want more contrast in your marks?
Depending on the type of marking technology, you can create either a dark or a frosted mark. For instance, if you’re doing barcode technology and struggling with your vision systems’ ability to read the code, you’d want to use frosted backgrounds and dark marks. It’s all about your particular situation and how you want your final product to look.
3. Safety Considerations
Think about where your engraving machine is going to be placed. Will it be on the plant floor near operators, or do you have a dedicated, enclosed space for it? Will this machine be replacing another type of technology such as ink jet?
You should know that if your laser marker will be located on an open shop floor, your laser supplier should help you install a Class I laser safety system. This includes a laser-safe enclosure and warning lights, curtains to form safe entryways and other safety considerations. You can also opt for a laser workstation that includes a Class I safety enclosure and laser source in one compact unit.
If you have a Class IV laser, you would need a dedicated room that meets certain safety conditions, such as area posting, protective eyewear and a key switch so that it still meets safety requirements.
WHEN TO GO WITH FIBER LASERS
On the other hand, if you’re marking non-organic materials like metal or plastic and want contrast in your mark, fiber laser marking technology may be the best choice for your application. Fiber lasers, at 1-micron wavelength, must be in a separate room or enclosure with doors and must also follow the CDRH (Center for Devices and Radiological Health) safety considerations to make sure anyone working around it is safe.
Fiber laser technology is suitable for engraving materials like metals, rubbers, and plastics due to its high wavelength (780nm to 2200nm). The high wavelength makes it a suitable technology for permanent and difficult to remove markings. Moreover, the markings are of great quality. Therefore, laser engraving, cutting, and annealing are best with fiber lasers.
Fiber lasers possess a very negligible focal diameter. This makes them excellent, especially for permanently marking identification numbers, barcodes, and linear barcodes on metal.
Bottom line: The technology is suitable for graphics, identification numbers, 2D Data matrix, and barcode marking on different materials. These include metals, ceramics, and plastics.
Application: Fiber mark lasers offer a wide range of capabilities and produce a high-quality mark to engrave serial numbers, bar codes, 2D Data Matrix and graphics on the widest variety of materials, including metals, plastics and ceramics.
The Last but not the least, which type of laser machine i can choose from Cloudray?
(The configurations and marking effect display in this Guide is only applied to products directly on www.cloudraylser.com, not applied to products from cloudry store on Amazon/Ebay etc. due to different configurations and different service, also not offer any service support for orders from them.)
Features of Cloudray Each Series：
--------------------------Litemarker Pro Series (2023 Fully Upgrade)---------------------
QS Series:Q-switched pulse laser, watt range from 30w-50w，adorable price for standard marking requirements.
- Standard Marking and engraving (≤1mm) on Most Metal Materials
If you need a laser that can quickly and efficiently process large quantities of material, then a q-switched laser is the best choice.
MP Series: Common Marking + Mopa (Anodized Aluminum Black Marking; Titanium & Stainless Steel Color Marking)
- Faster marking
- Anodized Aluminum Black Marking; Titanium & Stainless Steel Color Marking
- Partly deep engraving and metal cutting (not for precise metal works) ≤1.5mm
- Have high contrast and accuracy on metal materials
If you need a laser that can be used to produce high-quality results on a wide variety of materials, then a MOPA laser is the best choice.
------------------------------------------------100W Litemarker Series-----------------------------------
GM SERIES: Cloudray self-design and fully Upgraded Machine, Default 100w laser+ Built in Camera, designed for Precise 2D Engraving and Cutting
- 100W JPT Mopa Laser
- BUILT-IN CAMERA
- High-efficient & High Accurate
- Designed for Precise Cutting & Engraving
- F-theta lens (Special Materials: High-temperature resistance): Quartz
- Double Package (Thick Carton & Wooden)
- 2 Independent QC Reports ( Laser Machine & Laser Source)
AR Series: Customization Product, designed for customers who work in procise DIY
- Precise 2.5d deep engraving and Precise Metal Cutting
- Faster and more stable Marking effect than Standard Marking;
- Mopa (Anodized Aluminum Black Marking; Titanium & Stainless Steel Color Marking)
- Cleaning (rust removal) for most metal, not recommend this function, strict with components of materials and parameters testing, wrong operation will destroy the original materials.
-------------------------------------Professional Machine for Non-metal Materials------------
EC Series: CO2 Laser Machine, widely used for DIY of Non-metal materials
Standard Marking/Engraving on Non-metal Materials
Application: bamboo, coconut shell, paper, plexiglass, PCB board, acrylic, rubber, marble, granite, jade, crystal, leather, fabric and so on the vast majority of non-metallic materials.
UV Series: It is suitable for surface treatment such as marking and engraving of high flame-retardant materials, especially suitable for marking and micro-hole drilling of food and pharmaceutical packaging materials, high-speed division of glass materials and complex graphics cutting of silicon wafers...
- Marking on some metals， most non-metals (All plastics, all glass, some stones, paper, leather, wood, ceramic, garments)
- More effectively marking on Hard Plastic and PVC than fiber laser.
1. If you are new to this industry, and want to explore more, we recommend that you can start your exploration with our QS Series as it is a cost-effective, affordable price for a laser machine (suitable for someone with a limited budget)
2. If you work in industrial production, mainly for Hard Plastic and PVC, then UV Series will be the right choice.
3. If you are familiar with laser machines, and want to search for a functional one to start your own small business for DIY metal materials and have stirct request on color contrast and accuracy on materials such as Metals: Aluminum, stainless steel, gold, brass, titanium, carbon steel, platinum, and tungsten. and Plastics: PC, PLA, PBT, ABS. MP Series will be your first choice.
What's more, the MP series (60w) will be more powerful to make marking faster and more effective.
4. If you require deep precise engraving or metal cutting, and require more effetive marking results,we recommend choosing GM Series (100w will be the best choice for that, enough power for precise material processing)
What's more, 100W can do some cleaning on metal (rust removal) and precise metal cutting which can make the edge of metal more smooth than other lower watt.
5. If you are looking for the professional machine to do some 2.5d deep engraving jobs, then AR SERIES will be better than GM Series.
(if you are not know the difference between 2D and 2.5D,you can take reference of our blog to learn more before your purchase;
The difference between 2D,2.5D & 3D:
6. If you are searching for a laser machine for marking or engraving on non-metal materials( bamboo, coconut shell, paper, plexiglass, PCB board, acrylic, rubber, marble, granite, jade, crystal, leather, fabric and so on the vast majority of non-metallic materials), EC Series will be the best choice.