Which lasers should you use for marking applications?

The bandwidth ranges from simple and secure labeling with numbers, letters or graphics for quality assurance, company logos for recognition value to legal requirements for protection against imitation products. Ideally, products out of plastics or metal can be precisely identified far beyond the product’s service life and, if necessary, traced back and recycled.

Advantages of laser marking.

Laser marking offers advantages over conventional marking methods in a wide variety of applications and has proven itself. Conventional markings such as labels or paint on metal can be easily removed. Mechanical engraving, on the other hand, is permanent due to the material removal required for this, but it slightly damages the surface. Laser marking doesn’t have these problems. Depending on the energy input, both surface-neutral annealing colors and targeted surface changes can be achieved through evaporation or, in the case of plastics, through foaming.

  • Durable precise labeling without wear and tear
  • Easy and fast to install due to non-contact processing
  • For individual pieces and series production

Three very interesting examples from different areas of application show the great application potential of laser marking :

  • Inline-Marking 
  • Custom marking
  • Quality assurance and traceability

What does it take to get started with a marking laser machine?
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Marking serial products.

If serial products are to be marked in large quantities in a traceable manner, this isn’t just a challenge for logistics. Our customer Beck Sensortechnik GmbH manufactures pressure and differential pressure switches for a wide variety of applications. The previous effort for the printed plastic parts was quite high: from the injection molding suppliers to the printer, and from there to the warehouse. They were produced in batches and the differently printed variants were stored individually and delivered to production.

Product recommendation for this application :  SpeedMarker 50.

With the introduction of the SpeedMarker 50 inline laser marking machine, the parts logistics and workflow have become significantly easier. Instead of individual batches of finished printed parts, only larger quantities of neutral plastic parts are purchased and stored.

Depending on the incoming order, the ERP system then issues production orders to the respective line and also transmits marking data. The sensor is now assembled from all model-specific components and at the end of the production line it is marked with the right serial number, product information, individual brand labeling such as customer logo or customer-specific type using an inline laser. Even a possible scale division is only burned into the finished product at the end.

„Whereas we used to need around eight different basic housings and approx. 250 differently marked dials for production, the laser marking technology now reduces the variety to a single basic model respectively. The new parts management therefore saves a lot of working time and costs. The system runs so well and economically that we plan to use it for metal components with similar requirements.”

Andreas Kummer
Head of Quality Control at Beck

Custom marking

Marking differently shaped and sized products.

The operating conditions for laser marking at Dreilich Edelstahlverarbeitung GmbH in Sembach are completely different. In the production of toilet & washroom equipment made of stainless steel, such as wash basins, stainless steel mirrors, coat hooks, hygienic waste bins or cover plates and strips, not only different markings are important, but also the widely differing shapes and sizes of products, from the size of a credit card to a refrigerator size, place special demands on the marking system.

In addition, all products are only produced in small quantities, so the set-up costs for conventional marking machines are quite high. Previously, the parts were marked by means of electroetching. However, this process takes time and, in the case of chemicals and for distinctive signs, the removed material has to be washed off in between and at the end, and the finest strokes and lines are difficult to apply with a clear contrast.

Product recommendation for this application : SpeedMarker 1350.

By using the laser marking machine SpeedMarker 1350 with a work area of 1000 x 450 mm and a 100 W MOPA fiber laser, more degrees of freedom are available for marking. The laser marker was deliberately chosen as a stand-alone device without being integrated into the EDP. Small series are also produced as required, so manual production is also more economical when it comes to marking.

“The laser marking process is significantly faster and more cost-effective, because there are no conversion or consumption costs . Thanks to the well thought-out SpeedMark software operating program, even beginners can mark complex logos, markings or serial numbers after only a short training period. Even very robust deep markings can be “engraved”, e.g. in the case of frequently and heavily used stainless steel fittings, the laser machine can burn in markings around three tenths of a millimeter deep, which are then backed with black ink. The previously required milling is no longer necessary"


Benjamin Dreilich
Managing Director at Dreilich

Quality assurance and traceability

Permanent labeling.

Small series often also require permanent labeling, such as the products from Blaufaktor GmbH. The company manufactures water filters and compatible accessory modules. Due to the prescribed traceability, the aluminum products must be permanently and individually marked. Previously, the basic housings manufactured in a turning shop were transported to an external company for marking and from there to the actual filter production plant. As the accessory modules were also marked externally, putting together the individually marked supplied parts was no easy task.

Product recommendation for this application : SpeedMarker 700.

The use of laser marking with a laser marking machine SpeedMarker 700 (processing area approx. 580 x 495 and 20 to 100 W beam power), which was set up directly at the turning shop, made the logistics much easier. The stand-alone machine marks the finished parts directly on site and thus saves part of the previous supply chain.

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“We can now respond even faster to individual customer requests for marking serial numbers, product names or logos and at lower costs”. As the laser system can process a wide range of alloys, the new marking method should gradually be adopted for other metal alloys and also make work processes more efficient and economical."

Patrick Leichtenstern
Managing Director at Blaufaktor

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