Baublys Laser GmbH developes and builds laser marking equipment for proffessional use, this has been done since the late 1970´s.
The range extends from simple manual stations to fully automated and integrated in to production lines together with automated inspection before and after laser marking.
HOW DOES LASER MARKING WORK
Today it is difficult for many types of industries to do without laser marking as this gives a permanent marking that only can be removed by grinding (subject to the CO2 laser with black paste, this is not as pemanent). Most lasers sold today are fiber lasers with a wavelength around 1064nm, this wavelength with fiber technology makes the technique considerably more effective than the old lamp-pumped lasers that require a lot of energy and maintanence.
The lasers advantages are many and it would take too long to go through all of them in this text. The beam diameter is between 6-8 mm before it passes the scanner unit which consists of two mirrors, one for X and one for Y, these mirrors driven by galvanic motors has a resolution and accuracy of less than 1 micron (depending of the focusing distance used), the scanner unit and the laser (the diodes on and off and power) are controlled via software in the computer where you can do any patterns by hand or import from any type of data matrixes, for example barcodes are easy to do.
After the scanning unit the beam passes a focusing lens that makes the beam narrower (down to about 30 microns) for to be able to use it to process the material, alternatively get a color change
Using the beam to fill out a text alternatively an object, for to cover the surface with the beam you have to make a hatching / form a pattern to cover the surface, the beam can move by about 3000mm / sec.
Different types of marking that can be made is annealing/color cover which provides a black contrast in steel without damaging the surface, this method takes a bit of time since the material has to be heated until it changes color. Engraving is when modifying the surface of the material, this method can provide both dark and light marking in metallic materials. Deep Engraving is basically the number of repetitions of the engraving, for a good result with 3 D effect (2.5D if it should be correct) should have a 3D file that it processes through software that splits the 3D file in different layers which are then imported into the laser software running each layer as a 2D engraving, the result is brilliant, you can use this method to create fine structures directly in the tool options to develop EDM electrodes in graphite or copper.
How long it takes to mark an item or a text depends on the following: the surface of the object (how much needs to be filled in) and the type of label you want (how fast you can move the beam and with what power / strength of the light).
A guideline can be 12 characters, 5 mm high takes about 10 seconds.
Normally you can go far with a laser of 20 watts, but even here one can get the time down by selecting a more powerful laser such as 30-100 watts.
We are more than willing to mark a few of your products free of charge to show the technology and possibilities.