Laser Engraving in the Electronics Industry

It goes without saying that the electronics industry, especially the consumer electronics market, is now one of the most widely used around the world. It seems that there is some kind of new technology emerging almost daily, and electronics have an effect on almost every other industry. Whether it’s electric cars in the automotive sector, the aerospace industry or machines in the medical sector, everyone has one eye on the latest innovations in electronics.

The continued developments in this industry are only possible thanks to the manufacturing processes operating behind the scenes. One of these important processes is laser engraving.

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There are millions of electronics products around the world

The electronics industry

Some of the stats surrounding the electronics industry are perhaps unsurprising. By 2020, it is expected to be worth a huge $838.85 billion, and that’s just for consumer electronics specifically. Some of the largest companies in the world rely on technology, whether it’s through electronic products, electronic components, online shopping or social media.

The consumer electronics market continues to grow too. And not just in terms of the figure that we looked at above, but also in terms of the types of products that we see. Perhaps before just being reserved to TVs, computers, cameras, toys and phones, it wasn’t long until laptops and tablets took off.

Now, the Internet of Things (IoT) sees a whole new range of smart products hitting our shelves, such as self-ordering fridges and learning thermostats. Clearly, the types of products that we are seeing are becoming more innovative, complicated and diverse. But many products are also getting smaller too. You only have to look at how far the computer has come since the first model, which was around 1,800 square feet in size!

Demand for the millions of electronics items on offer continues to grow, so while the industry must operate at a faster pace, it’s important that quality and safety isn’t compromised. Any processes used throughout the manufacturing line must be reliable and highly efficient. Laser engraving is one such process that has grown in prominence throughout the industry.

How laser engraving is used within this sector

It can be hard combining the factors of safety, efficiency and quality that we looked at above all into one process. Historically, more traditional methods perhaps had to sacrifice slightly on one in order to achieve the others.

Semiconductors and circuit boards, which play a huge role in this industry, require heavy engraving

Semiconductors and circuit boards, which play a huge role in this industry, require heavy engraving

For example, ink jet engraving, while still a used process, uses chemicals to achieve its aims. The process was designed to be as safe as possible, but these chemicals can cause damage to those who operate the machines.

Lasers have helped to dramatically change this. They are a safe and environmentally-friendly process, not giving off harmful chemicals or waste. And, they are operated from a distance, meaning workers don’t need to be in close proximity to the operation.

As well as doing wonders for the safety of workers, nothing is lost when it comes to the quality of the electronic products created or the efficiency at which they are made. Engraving is a popular method used within this industry as all of the parts and pieces used need traceability labels or serial numbers. Some will be laser marked on, but others need to be made at a much deeper level.

The electronics sector has close links with the semi-conductor industry, as these items feature heavily in many of the products used. One way that laser engraving is used with semiconductors is for creating areas of electric isolation on the material ceramic.

Find out more about this process

One of the biggest benefits of laser engraving to the electronics industry is the fact that it is a non-contact process, meaning that it won’t damage the material that it is working with; it’ll only remove the portion of material that it is targeting. It is, therefore, able to maintain the original quality of the product, while taking nothing away in terms of safety.

It is benefits such as these which have led laser engraving to being one of the most reliable on the market. If you would like to find out more about how this process works, and how it could benefit your business you can contact us here or also read our laser engraving FAQs too.

 

Image credits: Alexander Dummer and axonite

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