Laser Marking in the Electronics Industry
The electronics industry is, and continues to grow as, one of the most valuable and important industries in the world. Technology is evolving at a rapid pace, and this sector is advancing quicker than perhaps any other sector.
With such a fast-evolving nature, it is crucial that the processes and methods used to research, develop and manufacture these electronics are of only the highest quality and efficiency. Laser marking is one of the most common types of process used for this.
Facts and stats about the electronics industry
The electronics industry is huge, with an estimated worth of around $838.85 billion by 2020 for consumer electronics alone. Electronic and technology companies are some of the well-known in the world today, with Apple looking likely to become the first one trillion-dollar company.
With consumer electronics easily being the most popular sector, we are beginning to see electronics being used more and more in everyday life. From our personal computers and smartphones to smart fridges and electric cars in the automotive sector, electronics is touching upon many other industries. Not to mention the electronic robots that are becoming a staple part of many manufacturing methods!
It seems as though it is almost every day that a new electronic product is released or announced. There are dozens of companies competing in a crowded marketplace, and over recent years, electronics have become smaller and more complex. And, with demand always increasing, it has been important to have processes in place that can match these rapid developments.
Lasers were quickly realised as one of the most beneficial technologies for this market, and have helped to drive the electronics machine forward. And, with the more recent invention of fiber lasers, the electronics industry was offered even more ways to innovate. Below, we have examined just how marking with lasers is used within this large sector.
Where laser marking fits in
As we examined above, the electronics industry is built on efficiency, needing to match the ever-increasing demand. But this demand always expects high quality too, and not to mention safety. Lasers are one of the only technologies on the market that have been able to scale with this evolving industry, and they can safely mark materials quickly.
One of the key ways in which they are used within this industry is to work with semiconductors. A semiconductor is a small substance that allows for some electrical conductivity. Its partial conductivity makes it a great instrument for controlling electrical current, and so these substances are a key component in many modern-day electricals. From TVs and smartphones to the newer electric cars, in many ways, they are the foundation of many electronics.
But they are small, sometimes tiny, substances, and yet still highly intricate and delicate. And, they often have the need for several markings. Laser marking, using a fiber laser, in particular, is the perfect process for this as it can work at very precise sizes while not damaging the surrounding material in any way.
This is because it is a non-contact process, meaning it won’t affect anything it isn’t targeting. This is crucial in an industry where electronics are typically made up of hundreds of parts, and it’s important to know that they have maintained their high quality. The marks that are left also need to be easily machine-readable, allowing for traceability.
Other items that you will see being laser marked in a similar way are printed circuit boards, housing units, SMD components and component strips.
These parts and pieces are typically made up of both metal and other materials, such as plastic, and a crucial benefit of lasers is that they can easily work with, and switch between, a variety of materials with ease.
The use of this process around the world
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