Experts here at Trotec developed a system to meet the need of a customer who needed a solution for loading heavy parts onto a Class 2 laser. This customised laser machine includes a feeding palette and an automatic-closing side partition. This way, the heavy parts could be loaded, unloaded and transported into the laser workstation. A coordinated identification and a three-axis-system (x-, y- and z-axis) enables the laser to mark perfectly and exactly where intended. Lighter parts can also be loaded and unloaded easily through the front door.
For labelling long bars of extruded aluminium and steel at one end, the Trotec SpeedMarker 300 was modified, and comes with included part support. The substructure was designed so that the machine corresponds with Laser Class 1 and Laser Class 2 (with a laser pointer).
Rails, pipes and profiles with lengths of 100 - 4000mm can easily be laser-marked. Small, single parts and smaller batches of other components can be inserted directly into the labelling chamber, and the laser marking station can be used portably This increases the freedom and flexibility of the machine. The labelling program uses a code from a working document, and the variable labelling content is transferred with an ERP database connection to the laser software.
The SpeedMarker 700 can be adapted for laser marking long, over-sized parts. Long pieces can be inserted into an automated feeder, moved into the labelling chamber, marked and finally shifted onto a conveyor belt. To ensure safe work practices, the supply and discharge openings are closed and sealed.
The great thing about this variation is the positioning in the labelling chamber, especially since it allows labelling at either end of the component at any time. Alternatively, the system can be adapted so that the feeders on either side can be alternately loaded to increase throughput.
Occasionally, it is necessary to design an even wider casing for a laser machine. This ensures its ability to effectively mark broad and heavy parts.
The system pictured was designed for marking rifles, which need to be labelled in accordance with specific legal requirements regarding traceability and authorisation. To enable insertion and positioning of these long, bulky firearms, the casing was widened and equipped with a displaceable x- and z-axis.
Since cycle times need to be as short as possible, Trotec designed a custom-built laser system with two moving exchange tables, alternating to allow work pieces to be unloaded and loaded together. Additionally, the two y-tables can move simultaneously when large work pieces need to be marked.
The base of this laser machine is the SpeedMarker 1300. Our experts adapted the 1300 to include the exchange tables, meaning output could be doubled. With additional modules, the SpeedMarker quickly became a custom-built laser solution.
We developed a fully automated laser workstation with a table magazine, separating the unit from the conveyor belt so that the machine could mark ball bearings. Using SpeedMark laser software, the ball bearings can be marked with production data, original country, type ID or the names of producers. All relevant data can be processed from the customer’s SAP system. This quick, automated safety class laser enables users to complete work quickly and safely.
The ball bearings are loaded into the machine with a separating unit and a conveyor belt. Because the system is fully covered, the parts can all be marked at high speed while remaining as safe as possible (laser safety class 2). The marked bearings are then transported into a storage bin via the conveyor belt, where they can be collected and unloaded. Even larger parts or unusual material can be marked using the front housing. The multi-functional laser software ‘SpeedMark’ is simple and can be handled by all employees.
SpeedMarker 300 is a desk station with an exchange drawer for fast loading and unloading. Different templates are provided for loading, as well as protection cover when marking other components.
Individual program surface by advanced scripting: the user has individualised the surface program integration of ERP data. This means they can laser mark the type plates with the correct dynamic data every time, including type codes and serial numbers.
Seeing as spiral drills and other precision tools are usually produced in large quantities, the marking process needs to be quick – ideally, just a few seconds. By utilising a custom-tailored laser work station, you can meet all specified requirements in a mere couple of seconds. This high-speed marking produces extremely good quality products and 100% reliability every single time. With SpeedMark software, you can also mark variable data. This includes production dates and serial numbers – all in the form of texts and codes.
While many work pieces are marked within a protective laser housing, large and bulky items can sometimes have different requirements. They can be made with heftier materials, including stainless steel or coated metals, and can sometimes include castings and large plastic or ceramic components. Problems arise when trying to determine how to keep these parts inside their protective housings, and how to align them for laser marking. The effort required to set up these marking processes is considerable. Laser markings are also quite expensive when using metal marking solutions. A single area of shielding over the marking area can sometimes make a good alternative to large protective housings with automatic laser positioning. Only the area between the beam exit and the marking surface is protected by a dome or lens barrel. A sealing lip prevents the possibility of the beam exiting the workpiece surface.
Two different design options are possible: the workpiece can be moved to the fixed protective dome or the protective dome can be crafted with a fixed and mechanically driven part. A workpiece can then be positioned beneath the protective dome and the movable part can be moved up the surface of the workpiece (using a pneumatic actuator). Manually-operated protective domes can also be used as manual workstations, and have already been implemented with much success. In both cases, the lens barrel or viewing tube can be adapted to suit the shape of the parts you wish to mark. It then becomes possible to mark non-planar surfaces and design interchangeable attachments. Laser Protection Class 1 is met by adding integrated safety monitoring with two redundant safety circuits. This means the system can be used in laser manufacturing areas without the user or the machine needing additional protection or safety training.
Trotec has developed a custom workstation for a unique customer requirement. In this case, the customer owned a printing company, and needed a solution for laser marking rotary die cutters, along with other steel cylinders. Some were as high as 600mm. The machine had to mark the front-end of the cylinders, while still being capable of engraving smaller pieces when required.
Before seeking help from us, the customer had been using a micro-percussion marking machine for this application, and it did not provide the same versatility or efficiency as laser marking could. Trotec’s solution was built using a SpeedMarker 1300 as a base-point. A loading cart was then added to provide space for the large, bulky cylinders. Using the custom laser workstation, the customer could load cylinders up to 1200mm long, and push them into the machine with help from the loading cart. A supporting table helps with adapting to the differing sizes of the cylinders. The lift gate is used to load and unload the machine, and can be opened manually or programmed to open automatically, depending on your preferences. When the lift gate is closed, the laser marking station comes into accordance with laser safety class 1.