Application - Laser Marking

Pulsed Fiber Lasers are renowned for their versatility with laser marking being one of the most popular applications. This process is used to mark various materials including ceramics, LEDs, metals, plastics and rubber. Although similar to laser engraving, the appliance of a mark is at a surface level, whereas engraving is a mark with depth. Laser marking is the process where a material, which can be anything from ceramics to plastics to metals, is marked or labelled with a simple black mark, or in colour (depending upon the material).

Popular laser marking applications

Laser marking is typically used for processes such as applying labels with bar codes, date codes, QR codes, serial numbers, part numbers or adding copyright / trademarks and logos to a number of different surfaces in many industries. Another popular use is the addition of a date value being added to materials such as metals and plastics; this could be used as a best before date or maintenance due date, etc. Additionally laser marking is useful in the creation of ID and smartcards offering high degrees of fraud prevention.

Advantages

Laser marking offers advantages over other marking methods of mark durability, lower use of consumables, repeatability and reductions in process times. Laser marking is extremely popular in the manufacturing industry and is widely integrated into sub-processes across the production line. Buy the perfect SPI Laser for you, we manufacture a range of Pulsed and CW Fiber Lasers which will exactly match the beam quality and power level required for the marking task needed.

Laser marking using SPI Laser’s Pulsed Fiber Lasers

SPI Laser’s reliable and robust Pulsed Fiber Lasers combine a wide range frequency pulsing output with high peak power to deliver highly precise, efficient, and durable marks that will last. The laser marking process is also occasionally used in laser cutting, welding and drilling systems.

For a basic black mark or any combination of colored marks, an SPI Laser is an excellent purchase which is used globally by industrial manufacturers. Our Lasers combine a wide range frequency pulsing output with high peak power to produce long-lasting very fine, extremely precise, controlled Laser marking and ablation. Using a galvo mirror delivery these units can mark almost any material at very high speed.  We produce many different models to match the power level and beam quality required for the task at hand.

Laser markers are easily integrated with material handlers, X-Y tables, galvos, rotary axis drives, bowl feeders, conveyors, dial tables and other industrial manufacturing equipment. Laser marking is also sometimes incorporated into Laser cutting, Laser welding and Laser drilling systems.

Below you will find two types of documents to help increase your knowledge on the capabilities and applications of laser marking: 

‘Applications Insights’ are detailed articles on specific applications.
‘Application Postcards’ are bite sized insights on specific applications, designed to be easily digested in a matter of minutes.

Anneal Marking on Cast Iron

Application Postcard
Posted on 30/03/2017

Anneal marks are created on cast iron by heating the work piece with a laser beam to form an oxide layer at the surface, which creates a colour change to the surface of the work piece. A common use for marking cast iron is to produce QR codes or... read more >

Copper Marking

Application Postcard
Posted on 30/03/2017

Copper is a material which is very difficult to mark, but using a multi waveform process can be marked with a selected few colours with very high contrast. Manufacturers are greatly interested in this process, looking for new methods and finishes to... read more >

VIN Marking on Mild Steel

Application Postcard
Posted on 17/01/2017

Mild Steel is one of the most widely used metals due to its weldability, durability and low cost. Applications for Mild Steel include car chassis, motorcycle frames and multiple domestic products such as cookware and cleaning appliances.Vehicle... read more >

Raised Marking

Application Postcard
Posted on 17/01/2017

Raised marking is used across multiple industries such as the automotive sector for applications which require a surface mark to still be visible after the work piece is painted. One of the key uses for a mark which is visible after painting is... read more >

Titanium Colour Marking

Application Postcard
Posted on 17/01/2017

Titanium is used within the aerospace, medical and jewellery industries due to the material being lightweight, strong and highly resistant to corrosion. Colour marking of titanium is most commonly used in jewellery applications, as using a laser... read more >

Black Marking on Brick

Application Postcard
Posted on 17/01/2017

The brick marking application is mainly used in the construction sector for ‘names of contributors’ applications. The mark is achieved by applying heat to the surface of the brick to produce a glassy yet durable finish to the marked characters.... read more >

Anneal Marking

Application Postcard
Posted on 17/01/2017

Anneal marks are created on stainless steel by heating the work piece with a laser beam to form an oxide at the surface, which creates a colour change to the surface of the work piece. Generally, the colour of the mark is black, but other colours... read more >

Brass Colour Marking

Application Postcard
Posted on 19/12/2016

The technique of colour marking has been applied across jewellery, metal work and consumer product sectors. Manufacturers are greatly interested in this process, looking for new methods and finishes to provide product customisation. Brass is one of... read more >

Etching Silver on Ceramic

Etching Silver on Ceramic

Application Postcard
Posted on 14/10/2015

Our range of redENERGY Pulsed Fiber Lasers can be used to isolate thick bright metal plating on top of ceramic. This allows users to quickly and cleanly create islands of electrical isolation which can then be used as substrates for electronic... read more >

Smooth Marking of White Plastic

Smooth Marking of White Plastic

Application Postcard
Posted on 13/10/2015

Many consumer electronic goods are manufactured from white plastic, and some have a clear hard coating applied. Achieving a smooth mark on this type of plastic can be difficult to achieve with a standard ns pulsed Laser, since it is easy to melt the... read more >

Pewter cutting, engraving and marking

Pewter Cutting, Engraving and Marking

Application Postcard
Posted on 13/10/2015

To commemorate our participation in the 2013 Munich Laser World of Photonics we produced a special pewter ‘tankard’ pendent.Pewter is a malleable metal alloy primarily made of tin with low levels of alloying elements. It has a very low... read more >

Night & Day Marking with a Pulsed Fiber Laser

Night & Day Marking with a Pulsed Fiber Laser

Application Insight
Posted on 08/10/2015

Selective paint removal applications, also known as night and day marking, are very demanding applications found in various industries such as in the design of a car’s interior. Night and Day marking allows the user to see the graphic both in day... read more >

Figure 1: Black Anneal marking by an SPI Lasers’ Pulsed Laser (Image courtesy of LMco)

Metal Marking with a Fiber Laser

Application Insight
Posted on 08/10/2015

Lasers are ideally suited to metal marking because they can be easily automated, are non-contact, and utilise no consumables, making them more environmentally friendly than ink based marking. Lasers can be used for a diverse range of metal marking... read more >

Marking with a Pulsed Fiber Laser

Marking with a Pulsed Fiber Laser

Application Insight
Posted on 08/10/2015

Our redENERGY G4 Pulsed Fiber Lasers are made for marking applications. Marks made by Pulsed Lasers are clear, indelible and reliable, and the range of materials that Lasers can mark is almost endless.This application insight gives an overview... read more >

Marking Plastic Tags

Marking Plastic Tags

Application Postcard
Posted on 08/10/2015

Our range of redENERGY Pulsed Fiber Lasers can be used to mark a variety of plastics including the PTFE used for Cow Ear (animal) Tags. This identification must resist the harsh farm yard environment and be easily scanned under less than optimum... read more >

Marking Painted Steel

Marking Painted Steel

Application Postcard
Posted on 08/10/2015

Our range of redENERGY Pulsed Fiber Lasers can be used to burn through thick painted coatings and expose and deep etch the metal below. Here a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) was first burned through the paint and then engraved deeply into... read more >

Marking of Clear Anodised Aluminium

Marking of Clear Anodised Aluminium

Application Postcard
Posted on 08/10/2015

The pulse control offered by our range of redENERGY Pulsed Fiber Lasers can be used to create a sub surface black mark on clear anodised aluminium.Many parts are increasingly supplied with a simple clear anodised layer and this can pose a... read more >

Marking of Anodised Aluminium

Marking of Anodised Aluminium

Application Postcard
Posted on 08/10/2015

The use of anodised material is widely used across many industries, as the colours offered by the anodising process are almost unlimited. The coloured anodised layer is only a few microns on the surface of the aluminium substrate.Using our... read more >

Marking of ABS black plastic

Marking of ABS black plastic

Application Postcard
Posted on 08/10/2015

Lasers are widely used to mark a diverse range of plastic materials but results can be highly dependent on the type of plastic. ABS is a commonly used material particularly in automotive and engineering applications.The ability to produce high... read more >

Marking FR4 PCB

Marking FR4 PCB

Application Postcard
Posted on 07/10/2015

The use of Laser marking of PCB boards is a growing application. Traditionally basic alpha numeric information has been used but there is a move to bar codes and ID matrix marks to provide more data.A high contrast white mark can be made using... read more >

Marking Electronic Epoxy

Marking Electronic Epoxy

Application Postcard
Posted on 05/10/2015

Our range of redENERGY Pulsed Fiber Laser can be used to lightly mark the black electronic grade epoxy used on a variety of components. The material is widely known to burn and bubble under most Laser marking applications. However, our... read more >

Marking Anodised Aluminium

Marking Anodised Aluminium

Application Insight
Posted on 05/10/2015

Anodised aluminium represents a major application space for Fiber Laser marking. The various commercially available anodised finishes mean that there are a range of different mark effects that can be achieved. Conventional marking relies on an... read more >

Hallmarking

Hallmarking

Application Postcard
Posted on 05/10/2015

Hallmarks are a series of official marks struck on items of precious metal and can be found on all pieces of gold, silver and platinum jewellery. Traditionally hallmarks were struck with steel punches but today they are more commonly made by Laser... read more >

Figure 2: Colour swatches, on stainless steel, made at 125 kHz showing the effect of scan speed and average power – marked with an SPI fiber laser.

Fiber Laser Colour Marking

Application Insight
Posted on 05/10/2015

The use of Lasers for colour marking is not a particularly new technique as it has been recognised for over 10 years. This technique was originally identified as a viable process for use on craft metal work and jewellery. However, the process has... read more >

Fiber Laser Marking of Plastics

Application Insight
Posted on 05/10/2015

Laser marking is fundamentally different from ink printing, the traditional method of marking on plastics. Direct ink printing puts an image on the surface of the plastic which can be removed by abrasion or solvents, but Laser marking can provide an... read more >

Dark Marking of Anodised Aluminium

Dark Marking of Anodised Aluminium

Application Postcard
Posted on 05/10/2015

Natural anodised aluminium components can be dark marked using waveform 1 from a standard 20W redENERGY RM-Z Laser, however the dark mark is not usually smooth. If a smooth finish is sought, then by using a shorter pulse, our extended performance... read more >

Dark Contrast Marking on white ABS

Dark Contrast Marking on white ABS

Application Postcard
Posted on 05/10/2015

ABS is widely used for consumer goods as it possesses high impact and mechanical strength, which allows products manufactured in ABS to be long-lasting and durable. Control panels, smoke alarms and extractor fans are a few examples of where ABS is... read more >

Dark contrast marking on chrome electroplated plastic

Dark contrast marking on chrome electroplated plastic

Application Postcard
Posted on 05/10/2015

Chrome electroplated plastic is used in many industries including automotive and domestic markets. Radiator valves and lamp units for vehicles are examples of products which use electroplated plastic.The advantages of using this material is its... read more >

Cut, Score, Etch, & Colour Mark

Cut, Score, Etch, & Colour Mark

Application Postcard
Posted on 05/10/2015

Our range of redENERGY Pulsed Fiber Lasers are incredibly versatile due to their ability to automatically adjust the pulse energy and pulse shape using the many PulseTune Wave Forms.  These 0.4mm thick brass strips were cut, scored, etched, and... read more >

Black and White QR code mark on Mirrored Stainless Steel 316

Black and White QR code mark on Mirrored Stainless Steel 316

Application Postcard
Posted on 30/09/2015

A Quick Response Code (QR code) is a type of matrix barcode, first designed for the automotive industry in Japan. The QR code system was initially invented to track vehicles during manufacture. Today, QR codes are used in a much broader context for... read more >