The Advantages of Laser Engraving

There are many ways that one can engrave materials, but laser engraving has developed to become the most reliable, efficient and cost-effective process on the market. Capable of delivering results with a much higher quality than many of its more traditional counterparts, it’s unsurprising that it has quickly become a staple part of many industries around the world.

We’ve previously looked at some of the applications of laser engraving, and how this sees it being used in industries such as the automotive, aerospace, electronic and medical sectors. But, to help you gain an understanding of just why it has so many uses, we want to look in more detail at the many advantages that this process offers to its users.

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The process is used in many industries, such as the automotive sector

The benefits of laser engraving

There are several types of laser that can be used for the laser engraving process, and so in this article, we are simply going to list the general advantages of this process. For more detailed information on fiber lasers specifically, the type that we manufacture, please head to the bottom of the page.

Non-contact method

One of the biggest benefits of laser engraving is that it’s a non-contact process. This means that the laser beam isn’t physically touching the material that it is being applied to, instead relying on heat to achieve the desired results.

This is a big benefit over more traditional methods, as it’s removed the abrasion damage that was historically often being left on materials. Instead, only the portion that laser is targeting will be vaporised, and the surrounding area is left untouched.

Additionally, it reduces costs as there are no perishable parts to wear out and therefore no machine down time and associated productivity losses to deal with.

It can work at a range of depths

Unlike laser marking, a process which engraving is similar to, the aim here is to remove a portion of the material being worked with. As laser systems, and fiber lasers in particular, offer so much control, a range of depths can be achieved to suit the user.

To demonstrate this, we laser engraved stainless steel to two separate depths. Here, we did it to a depth of 0.2mm, and here to a depth of 1.5mm.

Can be utilised on a number of materials

Another huge advantage of laser engraving is that it is capable of working with many different materials, including metal, ceramic, plastic and glass. This is crucial, as many industries utilise more than one material in manufacturing, and having a process that is capable of working with more than one makes this a highly cost-effective solution.

Metal itself is a broad category, and each metal has many different properties. For instance, some metals such as brass and aluminium can be harder to work with given their reflective nature. Some laser systems struggle to overcome the fact that the beam can be reflected back into the system, damaging the laser itself.

The laser engraving process is used on many different types of metal

The laser engraving process is used on many different types of metal

 

Fiber lasers have no such problem, further adding to the advantageous nature of laser engraving.

It’s highly efficient

As we’ve touched on above, laser engraving is an incredibly efficient process. It can easily switch between materials and a range of depths, offering its users multiple end-results. But it’s also efficient in terms of service life and maintenance costs, which are typically much lower than those offered by more traditional methods.

Some of the more modern and innovative laser systems are also able to complete more than one process. For instance, engraving bears many similarities to marking, which leaves a mark at the surface level rather than an engraving.

Often some parts will have both engravings and markings on them, and a single engraving setup can complete both methods with ease.

A focus on quality

While businesses must look for processes that are efficient, they must also focus on quality too. Finding methods that are both efficient and deliver the necessary results can be tough, but laser engraving more than achieves this aim.

Clear, legible and permanent engravings are left that can be easily read by both humans and machines, making them perfect for whatever applications they’re used for. Whether it’s to create aesthetically appealing personalisation engravings, or if it’s to create traceability codes for machines to scan, laser engraving ensures that quality is never sacrificed.

It’s a safe process

There is also a huge focus on safety too, both for the workers and the consumers. By replacing traditional methods that often use harmful chemicals, it prevents workers having to operate in these conditions.

Laser systems are used in conjunction with computers too, meaning that they can be operated from a distance.

High-quality engravings are needed in many places

High-quality engravings are needed in many places

It’s environmentally-friendly

Given the above point regarding the removal of chemicals, laser engraving is much more environmentally-friendly than many of its predecessors. But it’s not only during the process that it achieves this but also after too. It leaves very little waste behind as most is vaporised, but the waste that is left is typically in the form of particle dust. This is unlike the harmful waste that other processes leave.

Used in many industries for many applications

It is a process that dozens of industries around the world have adopted for hundreds of varying processes. From creating electrical currents in ceramics for semi-conductors to creating engravings in personal jewellery pieces, it’s a process that benefits businesses and individuals alike.

Laser engraving from SPI Lasers

As you can see from the above list, laser engraving has many benefits and advantages. Fiber lasers offer additional benefits to their users in that they are even safer, more environmentally-friendly and efficient. They have longer service lives than other types of laser, and also less maintenance costs. Our fiber lasers enjoy the latest next generation technology, meaning they have no maintenance time at all.

Our redENERGY® G4 Pulsed Fiber Laser is a popular and reliable choice for those looking to laser engrave with confidence. If you would like to find out more about this technology, our other fiber lasers, or if you have more questions about laser engraving, then we’re here to help. Please get in contact with us here.

 

Image Credits: Mike, videofan2 and Pavlo Luchkovski

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