Benefits of Laser Marking Machines for Your Business

Lasers are quizzical devices that inspire thoughts of sci-fi movies and dangerous beams, but contrary to popular belief, lasers have many practical and useful applications. In fact, lasers are revolutionising businesses with their quick, permanent, and versatile methods for processing material with laser marking machines.

Laser marking machines are specialised pieces of equipment that use a focused light from the UV to the IR spectrum to heat a material to the point of leaving behind a mark. These machines stand out for compliant traceability marks, no consumables, and cost savings. In this blog, we'll dive into the benefits of laser marking machines and how they achieve this competitive edge.

Laser Marking Advantages

These machines are commonplace and highly regarded for numerous reasons.

Permanent Marks

Laser marking machines mark permanently. The marks cannot be rubbed off or fade away through time or exposure to contaminants.

Fast Marking

Laser marking can be a quicker and more efficient marking process than chemical etching and inkjet printing. Chemical etching requires many steps that can last days, and laser marking happens instantaneously. Inkjet printing/labeling has consumables and replacement parts that can slow down the process and often lead to downtime—laser marking technology does not.

Versatile Use

Purchasing laser marking technology is an addition to your toolbox beyond just a basic marking system. Laser marking machines are effective on a range of materials, sizes, industries, and processing methods.

Materials Processing
Automotive / Aerospace / Defence Electric Vehicle Semiconductor / Electronics Medical Food / Pharma
Automotive / Aerospace / Defence
  • D plates
  • Mirrors
  • Wiper blades
  • Circuit boards
  • Crank Shafts
  • Shift levers
  • Instrument panel buttons
  • Meters
  • Air filters
  • Body frames
  • Bolts
  • Fuse boxes
  • Bearings
  • Engine blocks
  • Battery
  • Inverter
  • Sonar sensor
  • Front camera
  • Rear camera
  • DC-DC convertor
  • ECU
  • Milliwave radar
  • IC packages
  • Crystal oscillators
  • Wafers
  • Moulded packages
  • Glass epoxy PCB
  • Wire sheath
  • Epoxy package
  • Flexible PCB
  • Needle hubs
  • Catheter connecters
  • Medical tubes
  • Instrument covers
  • Small steel objects
  • Catheter wire
  • Drill bits
  • Medical bolts
  • Drink bottles
  • Cartons
  • Capsules

Field of View

3-Axis Hybrid Laser Marker MD-X Series
KEYENCE's hybrid laser marking system can mark across an area of 330 mm x 330 mm x 42 mm.
3-Axis Fibre Laser Marker MD-F Series
KEYENCE's fibre laser marking system can mark over an area of 300 mm x 300 mm x 42 mm.
3-Axis CO2 Laser Marker ML-Z Series
KEYENCE's CO2 laser marking system can mark across an area of up to 300 mm x 300 mm x 42 mm.

Zero Consumables

There are a myriad of reasons why businesses are moving towards using fewer consumables. Here are a few of them:

  • Decrease environmental impact
  • Consume fewer materials
  • Reduce waste
  • Lower PPE equipment budget

Whatever the reason may be, laser marking technologies are often a viable solution. Laser marking machines use light to directly mark products and do not need any other materials. Because of this, there is no extra maintenance, material, PPE, or toxic waste costs.

Enhanced Durability and Longevity of Laser Marking

Laser marking is a durable process with both the marks and the machine. As discussed above, laser marks are permanent and readable. A few applications of how laser marks withstand industry-specific challenges are:

  • Laser marking on medical devices withstands the constant sanitisation, washing, and contact with bodily fluids
  • Laser marking on stainless steel withstands rust adhesion paint
  • Laser marking on parts withstands shot blasting

IP-64 Durability

In addition to the physical mark withstanding outside conditions, the actual machine has enhanced durability and longevity.

KEYENCE's MD-X, and MD-F laser marking machines meet the IP-64 resistance specification. This specification means that water splashing from any direction will have no harmful effect on the machine's use and there will be no ingress of dust, often referred to as dustproof and water resistant.

Predictive Maintenance

KEYENCE's MD-X, and MD-F laser marking machines all have built-in thermopile power monitors.

The thermopile power monitor is an aspect of the laser marking technology that acts as a predictive maintenance tool by measuring the output power of the laser to detect any drops in power over time.

The predictive maintenance will then give a warning about possible malfunctions so that you can proactively fix them before it affects manufacturing processes.

Lens Protection Filter

The MD-X comes attached with a lens protection filter installed. This filter decreases wear and tear on the lens so that your laser marking machine will last even longer.

Cost Savings with Laser Marking

Laser marking is an investment that saves your budget in the long run. Instead of having to continuously budget to buy new materials for other marking processes (like chemical etching, labeling, and printing), make a one-time purchase for laser marking technology, and there will be no need to watch your expenses add up.

Regulatory Compliance and Traceability of Laser Marking

Medical Device FDA Compliance

As of 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires all medical devices (besides Class I devices) to display a unique device identification (UDI). The UDI must be readable by machines and humans and contain identifiers like serial, batch number, expiration date, and manufacturing date. Since UDIs store a lot of information on a small device, many businesses choose to use 2D codes.

If you're in the medical sector, incorporating a laser marking system is a sure way to stay in compliance with traceability standards. KEYENCE's laser marking machines outperform alternatives like stamping, labeling, and chemical etching. Laser marking machines can mark the non-geometric shapes of medical devices and do not ever rub off for accidental contamination. These laser marking machines also mark the most common device material, stainless steel.

Electronics IPC-1782 Compliance

IPC-1782 requires electronic devices to have traceability about product ID/label, documentation/record keeping, and data exchange/sharing. 2D codes by laser marking machines store over 1,000 characters for the amount of information. Additionally, laser marking machines can mark microscopically yet clearly on small electronic semiconductors. Since laser marking doesn't use force, these fragile materials can be marked without impacting the structural integrity of the part.

Part Traceability: Shot Blasting Resistance

Shot blasting is known for creating a perfect finish while covering traceability marks, which is frustrating when you have to redo the mark.
Laser marking technology can mark the 2D codes to be shot blast resistant. By deep engraving the 2D code the depth of the mark will outlast any shot blasting and still be readable afterwards to keep traceability intact.

Ready to Try a Laser Marking Machine?

Ready to elevate your business with laser marking technology? Take a step towards enhanced efficiency, durability, and compliance by adding laser marking to your toolbox. Each one has strengths with certain materials, processing, and industries; our knowledgeable team is ready to teach you all about them!

Discover how laser marking can upgrade your production processes, prevent bottlenecks, streamline traceability, and save costs in the long run. Contact us today to discuss any questions or to get started!