Trotec experts developed the system to meet the need of a particular customer who needed an easy way to load heavy parts onto a Class 2 laser. The custom laser machine includes palette feeding and an automatically closing side partition so that heavy parts can be easily loaded and unloaded on a palette and then transported into the laser workstation. A coordinated identification and a 3-axis-system (x-, y- and z-axis) enable the laser to make precise markings exactly where they are needed. Additionally, lighter parts can be easily loaded and unloaded via front door.
For labeling of long bar stock of extruded aluminum and steel at one end, a Trotec SpeedMarker 300 lettering laser was modified and provided with a support for the parts. The substructure was designed so that the machine corresponds to Laser Class 1 or Laser Class 2 (with laser pointer).
Thus, rails, pipes, and profiles with lengths from 4 to 157.5 inches can be laser-marked. Smaller single parts or small batches of other components can be inserted directly into the labeling chamber. The laser marking station can also be used portably, further increasing the flexibility of the laser system. The labeling program is started using a code on a working document, and the variable labeling content is transferred via an ERP database connection to the laser software.
The SpeedMarker 700 laser workstation can also be adapted for laser marking long parts. Long parts can be inserted into an automated feeder. The parts are then moved into the labeling chamber, marked and moved on a conveyor belt. To ensure laser safety, the supply and discharge openings are closed with a cover.
The advantage of this variation is the positioning in the labeling chamber, since it allows labeling not only at one end of the part, but at any position of the component. Alternatively, the system can be designed so that the feeders on both sides can be alternately loaded to increase throughput.
In some cases, it is necessary to design an even wider casing for the laser system in order to be able to mark broad and heavy parts.
The system in the picture above was designed for marking rifles, which must be labeled in accordance with specific legal requirements regarding traceability and authorisation. In order to enable the insertion as well as the positioning of these long firearms, the casing was widened accordingly and equipped with a displaceable X- and Z-axis.
Because the cycle times had to be very short, Trotec designed a custom-built laser system with two moving exchange tables that alternate to allow work pieces to be unloaded and loaded and marked at the same time. In addition, the two y-tables can move parallel when large work pieces need to be laser marked.
The base for this custom-built laser machine is the SpeedMarker 1300. Automation experts adapted the 1300 to include exchange tables so that the output could be doubled. Through these added modules the SpeedMarker quickly and easily became a custom-built laser solution.
Trotec developed a fully automated laser workstation with table magazine, separating unit and conveyor belt for the marking of ball bearings. With the laser software SpeedMark, the ball bearings can be marked with production data, country of origin, type identification or the name of the producer. All the relevant data can be directly processed from the customers SAP system. This fast and automated safety class laser marking process enables users to achieve short cycle and setup times.
The ball bearings are loaded to the maintenance-free fibre laser with a separating unit and conveyor belt. As the system is fully covered, the parts can be marked at high speed while laser safety class 2 is guaranteed. The marked bearings are then transported to a storage bin with the conveyor belt where they can be collected and unloaded. Even larger parts or different materials can be marked by using the front housing. The multi-functional laser software SpeedMark is easy to use and can be handled by all employees.
The SpeedMarker 300 as a desk station with an exchange drawer for the fast loading and unloading of type plates during laser marking. Different templates for the correct loading of different type plates, a protection cover for the marking of other components.
Individual program surface by advanced scripting: user has individualized user surface Programmed integration of ERP data used to laser mark the type plates with the correct dynamic data such as type code, serial number, fluid quantity, pressure, temperature, and power, to name a few.
Since spiral drills and other precision tools are produced in very large quantities, the marking process has to be very fast too – ideally in just a few seconds. With a custom-tailored laser workstation all the requirements can be met, and the spiral drills can be marked in two seconds. The high-speed laser marking also has many other advantages such as extremely high and stable quality or highest reliability by using maintenance-free fiber lasers. With the SpeedMark software, it is also possible to mark variable data such as production date and serial numbers – in the form of texts or codes.
While many workpieces (smaller pieces in particular) are marked within the confines of protective laser housings with manual or automatic parts feeds, very large or heavy items have different requirements. They can be made of a number of different materials, such as stainless steel or coated metals, and include castings as well as large plastic components or ceramics. The problem is always determining how to enclose these parts into protective housings and how to best align them for marking with the laser. The effort required to set up marking process in plants with these requirements is considerable. Laser markings are often very expensive to produce with these solutions. A single area of selective shielding over the marking area can be a good alternative to large protective housings with automatic laser positioning. Only the area between the beam exit on the lens and the marking surface is protected by means of a protective dome or lens barrel. A sealing lip prevents possible beam exits from the workpiece surface.
In principle, two different design versions are possible: The workpiece is moved up to the fixed protective dome or the protective dome is made up of a fixed part and a mechanically driven part. In this way, a workpiece can be positioned beneath the protective dome and the movable part is then moved up to the workpiece surface, for example by using a pneumatic actuator. Manually-operated protective domes can also be used at manual workstations and have been implemented with equal success. In both cases, the lens barrel or a viewing tube can be executed to suit the shape of the parts to be marked so that it becomes possible to use the laser on non-planar surfaces too. In the event that parts with different shapes are to be machined, it is also possible to design interchangeable attachments. Laser protection class 1 is achieved by adding integrated safety monitoring with 2 redundant safety circuits. This means that the system can then be used in manufacturing areas without the need for additional protective measures.
Trotec developed a custom workstation for a unique customer requirement. The customer was a printing company in need of a solution for laser marking rotary die cutters and other tool steel cylinders with heights of up to 23.6 inches. The solution needed to be able to mark the front-end of the cylinders as well as offer the possibility of engraving smaller pieces.
Before working with Trotec, the customer had been using a micro-percussion marking machine for this application, which did not provide the same versatility or efficiency as laser marking. Trotec's custom solution was built using a SpeedMarker 1300 as starting point. A loading cart was added to provide space for the large cylinders. Using the custom laser workstation, the customer can load cylinders with a length of up to 47.2 inches, and push them into the laser with the help of the loading cart. A supporting table makes it possible to adapt to the different sizes of the cylinders. The lift gate to load and unload the machine can be opened manually or programmed to open automatically. When the lift gate is closed, the laser marking station can be used in laser protection class 1.