Electronics & The Semiconductor Industry

Laser Marking Electronic & Electrical Components

laser marked safety switch

The Electronics and Semiconductor industries primarily mass-produce their products, usually in a fully automatic style and in very large quantities. A lot of the electronic parts that are produced, such as SMD components, are very small, but need to be labelled with a large amount of information. Because of this, small and complex 2D data Matrix codes are used, which need to me clearly and permanently legible. It comes as no surprise to know that most of the electronics industry has already incorporated laser technology into their production lines, welcoming laser processing as a standard procedure. Galvo laser systems allow a simple and quick automated labelling process.

Materials Suitable for Laser Engraving:

  • Plastic: laser marking, foaming or colour change
  • Metals: marking, annealing

Impressions



Application Examples in the Electronics Industry:

Electronic components and PCB boards are usually marked with permanent, durable, solder-resistant and clearly legible markings. These labels make it easy to identify and trace the item, check and test internal quality and serve as trademark protection.

The electronics industry also utilises laser technology for laser cutting flame retardant insulating foils, acting as a separation between electronic components and printed circuit boards. During prototype construction, the CO2 laser machine offers more advantages than conventional methods, like punching or manual cutting. 

  • PCB boards
  • Electronic components
  • Housings
  • Cutting of insulation films
  • Circuit breakers
keyboard with laser marking

“Why should I buy a laser for component marking?”

Laser engraving machines are fully capable of quickly and permanently marking almost any material used in the electronics and semiconductor industries, producing a high-contrast finish every time. Depending on your requirements, a laser machine can act as either a stand-alone system to be utilised when appropriate, or it can be fully integrated into a fast-paced, automated production line for mass production.

Function & Advantages of Laser Technology

Fast Markings & Cycle Times

  • Galvo technology = high-speed marking

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Maintenance-free galvo fiber lasers are used, for fast markings and minimal lifetime servicing

Cutting Electronic Insulating Foils

  • Impressive design flexibility
  • Quick turnaround
  • No need to purchase dies
  • Higher cost efficiency for small series production

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • GS Series with a 3-Axis CO2 galvo laser = efficient production

Integration into Production Lines

  • Hard/software-sided integration into existing production lines is easy

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • We already have many years of experience integrating OEM galvo laser systems into mass-production lines
  • Our software meets all requirements for interfaces with other systems, and are always compatible

Mark Flexible, Variable Data

  • No need to re-tool
  • Capable of a wide range of markings

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Intelligent and intuitive SpeedMark software that can process data from existing ERP systems and all dynamic contents in codes

Quick Markings, More Output

  • High speed marking of variable data is possible (serial numbers, codes)
  • No need to re-tool
  • Capable of a wide range of markings

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Marking software is simple and easy to use
  • Quick and accurate positioning due to camera system: SpeedMark Vision – Smart Adjust
  • Easy to integrate contents from ERP files

Incredible Design Opportunities

  • Almost any design can be produced with a laser: logos, designs, bar codes, etc
  • Easily create 1-point fonts and tiny geometries while remaining clear and legible
  • Photographs can be implemented quickly and efficiently

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • DirectMark or JobControl software: laser mark directly from your preferred graphics program, making everything just as easy as printing

Non-Contact & Reliable Material Processing

  • No need to clamp down or fix materials to the laser bed
  • Saves you time and money, while producing consistently great results

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Broad product range, we have the right laser machine for any requirement!
  • Highly accurate laser marker, thanks to camera-assisted positioning

Trotec product recommendation

Tips for Marking Electronic Products

“Is the surface of the electronic device damaged by engraving?”

No. The laser beam works ‘contactless’ – as oppose to classical engraving techniques, the workpiece does not have to be attached to the laser device, meaning it won’t be crushed or marked in the wrong place. The casings for electronic devices are generally made from anodised aluminium. Given that CO2 lasers can only process metals with additional implements (if at all), the metal surface will always remain intact.

“Can metal be engraved with a CO2 laser, too?”

When using CO2 lasers, you need to apply a special paste or spray to the workpiece prior to any laser processing. It then needs to be left to dry before the material can be effectively marked by the laser. The marking is then burned into the metal with the laser beam. After the laser process, the residue of the paste or spray needs to be washed off.

This operation requires a lot of laser energy, and the beam needs to be moved at a very low speed. Some metals can have a high-contrast finish by using this method, but it should be noted that not all metals are suitable for paste/spray marking – always do your research before committing to a material! The pastes and sprays are also very expensive, and the entire process is very time consuming.

However, metals can be marked directly with a fiber laser, and a clear distinction is made between engraving, annealing marking and coating ablation. The machines in the Speedy Flexx series are all equipped with a CO2 laser as well as a Fiber laser, so you can use both sources on a single job without having to manually change the settings (laser source, lenses, focus). JobControl® laser software makes this easy: just assign the preferred laser source to each colour of the graphic and you’re ready to go!