This section introduces applications by industry that are useful in the development of new manufacturing processes.
Automotive Parts: Direct Part Marking
In the automobile industry “safety” is in demand above all else. In an industry such as this, a high level of history management and process control have always been pursued. Many automotive manufacturers and parts suppliers have stressed the importance of establishing traceability through the use of 2D code marking. The “necessity of marking” has not only been used for major components, but is steadily spreading to the individual parts used in the construction of automobiles, including over 20,000 parts at present. Considering this, a direct parts marking method using “laser markers” is being adopted at an increasing rate. The “laser marking” method provides advantages such as marks that are tamper proof, marks that do not fade, and low running costs. This guide will introduce and explain examples of laser marks for the automotive industry.
Case1．2D Code Quality Control
The largest problem presented when managing and tracing parts using 2D codes is the readability of those codes. To prevent problems in readability, a two way quality check is implemented in the marking and reading process of each mark. A laser marker with a built-in thermopile power monitor allows the user to measure, with actual values, the power output as marking is performed. With the 2D Code Reader, not only is it possible to visualize the ability or inability to perform reading, it also makes it possible to visualize reading reliability. With two check mechanisms, it is possible to prevent the reduction in reading quality of 2D codes.
When marking large cast parts such as engine blocks, it is difficult to align the workpieces with the focal distance of the
laser marker as they are being transported. The resulting focal misalignment causes improper marking.
The 3-Axis control laser marker allows you to perform auto-focused marking that tracks changes in the focal distance. This eliminates the need for complicated transportation mechanisms and achieves high-quality marking that is always focused.
This feature demonstrates its effectiveness, particularly in cases where there is a demand for stabilized quality, such as when 2D code marking is used.
Case3．Simplified Product Change-Over
There are an increasing number of cases in which multiple product types are manufactured with a single die-cast machine.
In the past these machines have had to be retooled to accommodate lasers markers, due to their fixed focal distances.
With the 3-Axis control laser marker, it is possible to design a flexible setup that supports multiple product types with a single box. Registering the size of the workpiece and area that will be marked results in the achievement of easy switching between product types by just switching the setting number.