Laser Marking in the Automotive Industry

In many ways, the automotive industry bears many similarities to the aerospace industry. It uses similar materials to create similar, albeit (usually) smaller and slightly different, products and machines.

For this reason, it uses many of the same processes as the aerospace industry, and in many of the same ways too. Want to find out more about laser marking and how it is used for automobiles? You’ll find all of the information that you need below.

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The automotive industry

The automotive industry is a huge, bustling hub of activity employing millions around the world, and having an impact on even millions more. It involves everything from the design and development of automobiles through to the selling and maintenance. While it’s most popular usage is for commercial reasons, it also involves other items such as large transport trucks or military vehicles.

Born in the 1890s, the automotive industry has rapidly developed in nature since then. It is now estimated that there are roughly 1.015 billion motor vehicles in the world, with over 70 million cars being manufactured a year.

This is clearly a huge industry and one which has an impact on us all in some way. Whether it’s with the automobiles that we own or the public transport that we use, it is an industry that has transformed our lives.

And it continues to develop, with a new focus being turned towards things such as self-driven cars. And, at the heart of these new inventions remains industries that continuously look to faster, more efficient and more cost-effective processes that don’t compromise on safety. Safety, of course, is a primary concern within the automotive industry.

As the industry continues to develop and new inventions continue to be brought to the market, the processes and methods used in the manufacturing stages need to continue to be able to deliver high-quality, efficient results.

The laser marking process helps create finished dashboards

The laser marking process helps create finished dashboards

Lasers, and fiber lasers, in particular, are the perfect process for this and are commonplace within the automotive industry. Interested to find out more about how they are used for marking in this sector? Read on below.

The use of laser marking in this sector

It is said that a car is made up of roughly 30,000 parts. While this may change from vehicle to vehicle, this number will remain in the tens of thousands. It wouldn’t be economical to have to use several processes to work with all of these varying parts, and so instead it is important to use systems which can easily adapt based on material, size and shape. Laser systems and fiber lasers especially are great at doing this.

Here are just some of the applications for laser marking within the automotive industry:

  • Marking of various seatbelt components with information such as barcodes, serial numbers and country of origin
  • The laser marking of various components and buttons on dashboards. These need to be both easily readable during the day, as well as illuminated at night, and for this reason, night and day marking is used
  • Cars aren’t only made of metal, and instead, feature other parts such as ceramic spark plugs. Lasers can easily mark this material too

Alongside this wide variety of uses, you’ll find that laser marking is used on dozens of other automotive parts too, including crank shafts, wiper blades, engine blocks, bearings, bolts, fuse boxes, circuit boards, shift levers, air filters and vehicle body frames.

One of the biggest concerns for marking in this industry is with readability and traceability. It’s crucial that any part that is used can be easily traced back to its origins, and that all parts are easily machine readable too. This is why fiber lasers have noticed such increased usage in recent years.

Want to find out more about fiber lasers in particular? Our popular redENERGY® G4 Pulsed Fiber Laser is the most common type of product used for laser marking in this industry.

More information on the process

If you are interested in hearing more about laser marking, and how it helps serve other industries such as the semiconductor, medical and electronics industries, then we would love to share our knowledge. Please get in touch with us here.

 

Image credits: markusthomasde and Mike

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