Fiber Laser Engraving in the Jewellery Industry
Engraving is just one of the applications for which fiber laser technology is an effective choice.
For the most part, the attention paid to fiber laser engraving focuses on its industrial use in areas including car manufacturing and electronics. However, it is also becoming more prevalent in the jewellery industry, where it is deployed for aesthetic rather than purely functional reasons.
Of course, jewellery engraving has been commonplace for some time, so what is it about fiber lasers that makes them especially well-suited to this process?
Fiber lasers can be adjusted to engrave a myriad of materials, ranging from some plastics and silicon to different types of metal. This latter use is clearly relevant in the jewellery industry, especially since engraving can be carried out on reflective materials without compromising performance or precision.
A wide range of metals are used to produce modern jewellery, from precious and rare options like gold and platinum to more commonplace alternatives like steel, bronze and silver. Using a fiber laser engraving machine, all of these materials can easily be engraved.
Custom jewellery is in demand at the moment, with customers calling upon producers to make them unique pieces that are tailored to their exact expectations. In the past, this would have been a labour intensive and costly process, but with the help of fiber laser technology, it is much more straightforward to customise new pieces or adapt existing pieces.
From etching personal messages on the inside of rings to engraving significant dates on jewellery, which is to be worn for a special occasion, fiber laser solutions empower the customer and allow producers to give their clients more choice and control.
Even the most skilled engravers are susceptible to human error, which in the case of the jewellery industry is clearly a major issue. A precious piece can be ruined if a mistake is made, and this happens more often than you might think.
Thankfully the arrival of fiber laser engraving has taken the pressure off many manufacturers since the entire process is computerised. Any design desired can be created digitally and then executed with immense accuracy and precision using an automated laser engraving machine.
This also means that designs which would be far too intricate and complicated for a human craftsperson to pull off are now achievable. The level of detail seen in laser-engraved jewellery today is second to none.
This precision also applies to the depth of the engraving and means that jewellery which is customised with lasers will have longer-lasting patterns that are able to stand the test of time without succumbing to wear and tear through use.
Combating waste & avoiding damage
Engraving is a process which unavoidably involves the removal of some material from the piece being adapted. Once again, traditional techniques necessarily involve direct contact with the jewellery and can lead to excess amounts of material being eliminated by accident.
The impacts of tools like a burin or chisel will also increase the likelihood that the structure of the material itself is compromised in some way, and only the most skilled workers with decades of experience are able to engrave jewellery without doing damage. Even early automated engraving machines required that some tool head made contact with the metal.
On the other hand, fiber laser engraving is a non-contact process which means that both waste and the chance of damage occurring during the process are effectively eliminated. This allows manufacturers to lower production costs and means that customers can enjoy flawless pieces at affordable prices.
Another of the challenges involved with manufacturing jewellery is that often the pieces in question are of an awkward, irregular shape. This increases the difficulty of working with them for craftspeople, while also making it harder to account for such shapes using standard machinery.
Fiber laser engraving is once again the obvious choice here since the aforementioned non-contact nature of the process means that it is ideal for working on pieces that are round, such as rings, or have uneven surfaces. All that is needed is the correct attachment to hold the piece in place and the laser can get to work unhindered.
The widespread adoption of fiber laser systems in the jewellery industry is inevitable given all of these benefits. Add in other advantages such as minimal maintenance requirements and low energy consumption and you have a recipe for the perfect jewellery engraving solution for the 21st century.
SPI Lasers welcome your enquiries
Our fiber lasers are used globally, in the jewellery industry but across many other industries too. Engraving is just one of the applications used with cutting, drilling, marking and welding being other popular examples too. Additive manufacturing is another especially popular application within the jewellery industry, as we have written about in this article.
If you are a jeweller, a machine builder or just interested in our fiber laser range then why not contact the SPI lasers team today? View our contact details here and either complete the web form or speak to us on a local number from anywhere in the world.
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