Laser Color Marking
Using Laser Color Marking is an ideal way to protect the product, the consumer and the manufacturer. The system automation is used to create a permanent marking on the product, in most cases without any damage to the surface of the product, also usually without any transfer of heat into the product thus preventing damage. In this article, we will explore the use of automation for placing color contrasting marks on products, and how this can aid industrial automation.
Laser Color Marking Glass
The beam creates a white color contrasting mark. The video demonstrates two types of characters one in outline and one filled. Both have high contrast and are easily readable. The filled characters have slightly bolder appearance. The color contrast marking is achieved with UV automation using the LP9000U series, with Galvo head and Zap-IT software package. In this case, the 355nm light creates a photo-synthase change in the glass causing the permeant color contrasting marking. All inks, chemical, solvents, and contact with the part are eliminated so the manufacturing process is streamlined and maximum protection is provided for the product, manufacture, and consumer.
Why Choose Color Laser Marking?
Advantages of system integration for colorization of products are principally:
Product protection- Logo, text, serial number, bar codes can all be placed on the products with automation. These markings are permanent and allow consumers, manufacturers, and regulatory officials protection.
Warranty and counterfeit protection- System integration allows for manufactures to place unique identification on products the marking of characters. Other details can even be so small as to require magnification to be viewed (marked features not viewable with the naked eye). Bar codes can as small as .7 mm or .027 inches can be marked and are machine vision readable. The small features combined with the ability to import unique art work and change marking characters or features which can be read and verified when and if items are presented for warranty requirements.
Protection of consumers and end users- Automation can be used to place color marking on consumable items and medicines (i.e. date or best used by dates) for consumable products. Color marking allows for non-removal or permanent marking to be placed on product showing easily readable expiration dates protecting consumers from eating spoiled foods. Pharmaceutical products are also easily and clearly identified with color marking so that dosage, type of medication, and use by dates, are provided for consumers to easily determine what types of medicine they are taking and how much to medicine to take thus providing excellent protection and information details to consumers.
Environmental protection and green manufacturing- Integration for color marking eliminates all inks, chemical, solvents, and physical contact with the product. This helps the environment in several ways:
- Inks require disposal of the ink delivery and cartridge systems. This creates waste and debris for landfills.
- The inks themselves are cancer causing agents and unless very high end significantly increasing manufacturing costs.
- The cleaning and maintenance of ink systems both ink splitters and pad printers requires, chemicals & solvents which are all damaging to the environment.
All these issues are eliminated when system automation is used for color marking, thus integration provides an environmentally friendly green manufacturing environment.
Eliminate contract with products reducing damage and scrap- Integration and marking eliminates all contact with the product and because there is no physical contact with the products. Damage to both the manufacturing equipment and product is eliminated greatly increasing manufacturing efficiency and eliminating waste, these items also combine to reduce manufacturing costs.
Laser Color Marking Technology
The LP9000U and LP9000G series of integration can both be used for color marking glass, plastics, and metals. The LP9000F series of can also be used to marking plastics depending on the type of plastic and might be (usually are) the most effective method for color marking metal. The platform (meaning system type) can be combined with either a galvo head or fixed beam delivery. Usually galvo head for fast, repeatable, and accurate marking or characters, logo’s, serial numbers, etc. X-y tables, feeder belts, vibratory bowls, and many other types of automation can be added to provide a complete turnkey system. The system and beam delivery can also be integrated into or onto existing equipment replacing ink pad or ink spitter systems, specifically:
LP9000U, these are UV series in the 355nm light wavelength and available from one  watt to one-hundred watt [100 watt] power levels.
LP9000G, these are referred to as green series in the 532nm light wavelength and available in ten  watt to one-hundred watt [100 watt] configurations. Generally speaking these are extremely well suited for color marking plastics of virtually any type. Color marking glass and surface removal of precious metals such as gold or copper to expose wire connectors and conductivity points for electronics, solar industry, and cell phone industry applications.
In the general sense 355 nm UV wavelength and 532 nm green wavelength will produce the same results with the 532nm green wavelength generally having a smaller spot size [meaning the size of the beam on the product which can be as small as 10µm [micron’s or micro-meters] allowing for the color marking extremely fine detail.
LP9000F Fiber Series in the 1064-1067nm range are excellent tools for color marking certain plastics [depending on the plastic composition] and the best [arguably] tool for color marking metal.
The beam creates a white color contrasting mark. The video demonstrates two types of characters one in outline and one filled both have high contrast and are easily readable the filled characters have slightly bolder appearance. The color contrast marking is achieved with UV automation using the LP9000U series with Galvo head and Zap-IT software package. In this case the 355nm series light creates a photo-synthase change in the glass creating the permeant color contrasting.