Laser Marking for Hydraulics

Hydraulics are components like pipes, tanks, turbines, and fans that facilitate liquid movement for powering vehicles, aircraft, and oil & gas plants. These components are frequently exposed to extreme temperatures, friction, and contaminants and require component marking for assembly and traceability. Because of the intense exposure, hydraulics require durable and permanent marks. For this, laser marking is the answer because of the long-lasting, easily legible, and precise marks.

Laser marking hydraulics involves using a laser marker to engrave, etch, or anneal with a fibre or a hybrid 3-axis laser.

Although there are alternative hydraulic marking methods like ink printing, labeling, and dot peening, this blog will explore why using a laser is the best option for marking hydraulics.

Why Choose Laser Marking for Hydraulics?

Hydraulic components, regularly exposed to liquids and extreme environments, require a marking method compatible with these conditions. The permanence and resilience of laser marking make it ideal for use on hydraulic components.

Laser marks on hydraulic components endure harsh conditions like friction, corrosion, and contaminant exposure without degrading. Additionally, laser marking hydraulic does not compromise any aspect of a hydraulic component, so it still functions as needed.

Laser Marking Hydraulic Components

Cartridge valves, gear pumps, and hydraulic filters are all cylindrical hydraulic components that need laser part marking for assembly and traceability. A laser marking machine’s precision targets the small marking area, and the laser’s power leaves a long-lasting mark.

Laser Part Marking Cartridge Valves

Hydraulic cartridge valves are small and cylindrical hydraulic components that control the direction, pressure, and flow of fluid. Hydraulics generally include more than one valve because of the small size. Each valve has a particular use in the assembly, so there must be identifiable marks.

Laser marking is perfect for ensuring correct assembly and traceability for cartridge valves. Marks include data and model codes, as well as customer specifications. Lasers engrave or etch marks that are permanent and easy to read for engineers.

Laser Part Marking Gear Pumps

A gear pump is a hydraulic component that moves fluid with rotating gears. Gears rotate inside of a pump filled with fluids and push the fluids out. Then, the fluid powers other parts of the hydraulic.

Gear pumps require traceability for recall and tracking. However, a barrier to compliance is the fact that gears are inside of a pump with constant exposure to fluids, changing pressure, and changing temperature. Some marking methods can’t withstand this environment.

Laser marking is effective for gear pumps as it withstands environmental changes and corrosion without any effect on readability. Better yet, lasers with 3-axis control can mark clearly on gears even with limited space and curved edges.

Laser Part Marking Hydraulic Filters

Hydraulic filters are cylindrical and textured components that filter out dirt, oxidation, sludge, metal particles, sand, and chemicals from the hydraulic system. These filters are integral to the hydraulic process working correctly without contamination.

Laser part marking is ideal for creating traceability marks on hydraulic filters because of the resulting marks’ durability. Hydraulic filters come in direct contact with friction, contaminants, and corrosion that could easily remove an ink or printed mark. Laser marks are permanent and will not smudge off or be destroyed from wear and tear.

Industries that Benefit from Laser Marking Hydraulics

The oil & gas, aerospace, and automotive industries benefit from laser marking hydraulics because of the marks' durability against changing environments.

Laser Marking Hydraulics in the Oil & Gas Industry

The oil & gas industry heavily relies on hydraulics to flow both oil and gases through plants. Plants are located in industrial, maritime (oceanic), or extreme climates. This exposure is a driving force behind why laser marking is ideal for the hydraulics industry. Laser marking is used for traceability and assembly marks, and unlike marking methods like ink printing or labeling, laser marking hydraulics withstands all environmental conditions, friction, and corrosion these marks will face.

Laser Marking Hydraulics in Aerospace Industry

Hydraulics are used for aircraft functions like wheel brakes, landing gear retraction, nose wheel steering, and windshield wipers. Laser marking hydraulic components with engraving, annealing, or etching does not harm the components. The resulting marks can withstand the inner workings of aircraft, reinforcing quality assurance.

Laser marking hydraulics for the aerospace industry is especially critical because of the industry’s strict part marking regulations for consistent assembly and traceability. Because many aircraft components are custom-made yet look alike, it’s difficult to decipher them based solely on appearance. Laser marking hydraulic components helps with correct assembly. As for traceability, laser part marking in the aerospace industry is required for tracking, safety, and quality assurance. The FAA requires parts to have a data matrix code that stores the builder's name, model, and serial number.

Altogether, laser marking hydraulic components in the aerospace industry protects from potentially life-threatening damages. While reliable marking benefits manufacturers in preventing potential liabilities, it also contributes to the well-being and security of the entire aviation industry.

For example, improperly marked parts could hinder maintenance and repair operations. Without them, the correct components may be hard to identify. This, in turn, can lead to an increased risk of operational failure, which affects manufacturers, crews, and passengers.

Laser Marking Hydraulics in the Automotive Industry

Hydraulics in the automotive industry are used for vehicle suspension, braking, and power steering. In the automotive industry, hydraulics are known for a faster response time than electric systems.

The automotive industry’s hydraulics require marking for safety, correct part alignment, and product changeover. The laser marks in the automotive industry are usually a 2D data matrix code including information like make, model, country of origin, and each part’s name.

Vehicles withstand decades of rust, corrosion, and wear and tear. Laser marking hydraulics in vehicles is a method that keeps up with long service lives. The 2D marks promote quick recall, keep quality assurance, and prevent counterfeit hydraulics.

What Laser Systems Should be Used for Hydraulic Components?

Fibre or hybrid lasers, both with 3-axis control, are the ideal laser systems for hydraulic components.

Fibre Laser Marking Hydraulic Components

A fibre laser is compatible with marking hydraulic components because of its high power, speed, and high contrast marks. These traits are beneficial since hydraulic components are typically made of metal, which is a fibre laser’s specialty. They excel at deep engraving and high-quality annealing on metals, making them the perfect choice for easily readable 2D matrix code marking. The combination of these marking techniques ensures readability and guarantees efficient processing time, thanks to the fibre laser’s impressive speed.

Hybrid Laser Marking Hydraulic Components

A hybrid laser combines a YVO4 and fibre laser for a machine that has a long service life, high output, high quality, and depth of focus. Hybrid lasers also specialised in engraving and annealing metal for hydraulic components.

3-Axis Control Laser Marking Hydraulic Components

Hydraulic components like gear pumps, filters, and valves are cylindrical and textured components with little space for marking. Because of these characteristics, a 3-axis laser is necessary for distortionless marks. The 3-axis control moves with curves and marks consistently without edge distortion.

Choosing Your Laser Part Marking Machine

Laser marking hydraulics is a reliable and efficient method for adding durable traceability marks. Oil & gas, aerospace, and automotive industries benefit from laser marking cartridge valves, gear pumps, and filters for correct assembly and efficient recall.

If you find yourself consistently remarking hydraulic components, it’s time to make a switch. At KEYENCE, we specialised in fibre and hybrid lasers with 3-axis control that are compatible with hydraulic parts. Contact us today for a free demo.

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