Engraving and marking metal in industrial sectors

Laser marking pure and treated metals and many more

industrial marking and marking of promotional products

For the processes of laser engraving and laser marking metals, the laser has been doing well for a long period of time. Using a laser marking machine, precise and clearly visible marking can be achieved on most metals from soft metals, such as aluminium to titanium or highly rigid alloys. With certain metals, such as steel alloys, it is likely to implement corrosion-resistant markings without damaging the surface structure by means of annealing marking. Laser marked products are marked with lasers in a diverse range of industries: These applications range from the marking of industrially produced series products for traceability to creating unique promotional items with logos or designs.

Suitable metals for laser marking and engraving:

  • Stainless Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Anodized aluminum
  • Hardened metals
  • Alloyed steels
  • High-speed steels
  • Titanium, titanium alloys
  • Carbides
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Precious metals (e.g. silver, gold)
  • Coated metals

Are you looking to know more about laser marking and laser engraving metals?

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corporate history trotec laser

Industrial laser marking

machine parts metal laser engraved
  • Product labeling
  • Industrial tags
  • Traceability
  • Datamatrix codes
  • Serial numbers
Marking industrial metal products

Promotional Items + Signs

laser marking metal frame
  • Promotional items
  • Mugs, keyrings, etc.
  • Signage
  • Personalization
  • Logos, fotos, text
Marking signs + promotional items
laser marking on metal drill

Industrial laser marking

Examples of applications

Marking of signs, promotional items and more

Directional signs, custom gifts and marketing materials are a few examples of metal engraving application ideas that can be personalised using a laser engraver.

Laser engraving metal application ideas

  • Door signs
  • Nameplates
  • Cutlery
  • Thermos flask, hip flask
  • Pocket knife
  • Key Fobs
  • Photo frames
  • Locks
  • Lighters
  • Bottle openers
  • Cellular phones, tablets, laptops
  • Jewellery

Possible industries:

  • Advertising, promotions and gift industry
  • Sign and digital
  • Engravers

Laser marking of metals in the industrial sector

Laser marking metal applications

Laser marked metal applications are typically used for marking products with traceability features and encryptions. These applications can be found in the electronics and electrical industry, mechanical engineering and tool production, in sheet metal processing, medical field, advertising materials, jewellery and in the locomotive industry.

Color marking on stainless steel

A special type of annealing marking on metals involves color marking on stainless steel. Based on the technical possibilities with the MOPA laser, reproducible colors on stainless steel can be marked with a laser. For manufacturers of stainless steel products, this provides them with the opportunity to create special color designations, such as a company logo or functional markings like the indication for hot and cold on stainless steel fixtures.

Read more about the laser marking methods

Applications in the laser industry:

  • Product labeling as plagiarism protection
  • Practical laser marking e.g. size, diameter, etc.
  • Production data e.g. date of manufacture, batch number or serial number
  • Codes for lasting traceability
  • Data matrix codes for quality assurance
  • Lasering nameplates etc.

Representative industries for colour marking

  • Kitchen appliance manufacturers who would like to adorn the stainless-steel fronts of the appliances with their colour logo
  • Producers of knives and cutlery who want to embellish their stainless-steel products with colour logos
  • Engravers and job shops who want to enlarge their product portfolios using the new options
  • Processors of stainless steel trim parts from other industries who want to diversify their offerings with colour markings

Industrial laser marking: Examples of applications

anti friction bearing laser marking

Why should I buy a laser for industrial metal marking?

Contactless, permanent metal marking:

The marking of metals using a laser engraving machine is a very precise and clean form of metal processing. Markings such as serial numbers, data matrix codes and logos can be added to products and components in the highest resolution. The metal marking or engraving is done by the laser, without contact, and requires no pre- or post-processing. The annealing marking ensures a permanent, acid-, chemical- and corrosion-resistant laser marking without damaging the metal surface.

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Function and advantages of laser technology

Cost-efficient production

  • Direct marking does not increase costs for consumables such as inks, chemicals, pastes or sprays.
  • The need for handling and disposing pricey materials is eliminated.
  • No pre- or post-treatments are required
  • Tool wear is eliminated

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • The SpeedMarker with a maintenance-free fiber laser can be integrated as a laser workstation or into a production line
  • The robust mechanics of Trotec laser systems have been designed for many years of intensive use with minimal servicing.

Highly accurate and fast marking with greater output

  • High speed laser marking with mixed data is possible e.g. serial numbers, codes
  • Achieve a wide range of markings without retooling

Benefits of a Trotec laser

  • Clever and precise marking software for simplicity when using the laser
  • SpeedMark Vision Smart Adjust camera for quickest and highly accurate positioning of components
  • Integration of contents from ERP files is now ready 

Permanent engravings and markings

  • The added advantage of laser marking is that it is permanent and abrasion, heat and acid resistant free
  • Extremely important for traceability and quality assurance

Benefits of a Trotec laser

  • Comprehensive Product portfolio with matching fiber laser systems for all needs
  • Flatbed lasers with processing bed sizes of up to 1500 x 1250 mm
  • Galvo workstations with processing bed sizes of up to 1120 x 653 mm
  • OEM galvo fiber lasers for integration into manufacturing
  • Custom-built systems suited to every customers requirements

Precise and accuracy when marking with fine tools

  • All shape sizes can be marked with high accuracy and precision
  • Marking processes are usually used in combination for cleaning the material after processing or to provide a deeper contrast (e.g. Data Matrix codes)

Benefits of a Trotec laser

  • High-quality components using ideal optics and the most suitable beam performance
  • Camera-assisted component positioning for high precision and simplicity

Outstanding design opportunities

  • Achieve almost any design with a laser machine
  • You can now create 1-point fonts and tiny shapes that are as highly legible as can be
  • Absolute freedom in the depiction of laser markings, logos, designs, bar codes or serial numbers
  • Create photos in the shortest time

Benefits of a Trotec laser

  • DirectMark or JobControl software for laser marking or engraving directly from the graphics program make everything as easy as printing

Contact less and dependable material processing capabilities

  • It is now not a requirement anymore to hold down materials 
  • Time savings and frequent good results

Benefits of a Trotec laser

  • Comprehensive product portfolio with the perfect laser system for all needs
  • Achieve precise and accurate laser marking from the onset with camera-aided positioning.

Colour marking on stainless steel

  • Colour markings are now possible on stainless steel using a laser machine
  • Exclusive marking of colour logos
  • Functional colour marking on stainless steel products

Benefits of a Trotec laser

  • Reproducible colours are now possible with a MOPA laser marking machine
  • Trotec laser technicians now offer application consultations 
  • Multicolour annealing marking now possible with the intuitive marking software 

Trotec Product Recommendations

for industrial laser applications

"When you buy a laser machine from Trotec, you are purchasing a well-designed and thought through piece of hardware. The after sales service is impeccable. The software is easy to use and intuitive. Trotec as a company make every effort to assist me in making a success of my business."
- Samantha Dowding - owner of Dynamic Engraving -
"I am very particular about quality and reliability of products and equipment. The Speedy 300 not only delivers quality and precision work but is also a very reliable machine. The technical support staff are very knowledgeable and helpful - apart from the fact that the brand is global and well known and the leader in their industry."
- Antje Stevens - Director of Bee Innovative -
"Trotec Lasers is perfect for the fine detail marking and engraving on metals. It can also engrave on epoxy and powder coating items. Trotec lasers and fine markers produce high quality branding and are very reliable with excellent backup service."
- Bea Jeram - Head of Engraving at Umleys -
laser marking metal frame

Laser engraving for advertising material and signs

Examples of applications

Inspirations for laser applications

laser marking metal macbook

Why should I buy a laser for marking of advertising materials?

Permanent and cost-efficient metal engraving and marking

Using artistic text, logos or any other artwork; industrial applications, marketing materials and signage can be efficiently and permanently marked using a laser marking machine. The marking and laser engraving of pure and treated metals is a clear and neat form of processing metal.  During the process of laser marking metal, cleaning is not needed as the laser is contactless with the material. A chemical- and corrosion-resistant marking can be achieved whilst the metal surface remains undamaged.

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Benefits and uses of laser technology

A variety of artwork choices using the laser

  • Achieve great results with a laser using any design of your choice
  • Design artistic texts, designs, logos, barcodes or serial numbers hassle-free
  • Create outstanding photo graphics in quick turnaround times

Benefits of using a Trotec laser

  • JobControl® laser software: as simple and intuitive as a printer

Laser marking is a contact-less method of processing materials

  • It is not a requirement to fixate or hold down the material
  • Streamlined and perfect results every time

Benefits of using a Trotec laser

  • Comprehensive portfolio with the most appropriate laser system for every necessity

Profitable production results with laser marking

  • Direct marking means no expenses incurred for consumables such as chemicals, pastes or sprays.
  • The supervision and often costly disposal of these materials is distributed.
  • Pre- and post-treatment not essential
  • Tool wear not a requirement

Benefits of using a Trotec laser

  • Speedy flexx laser machines or SpeedMarker with maintenance-free fiber lasers
  • Minimal servicing required due to the vigorous structures of Trotec laser systems being designed for years of thorough use

Laser engraving creates a permanent mark

  • Engraving of metal creates a permanent, abrasion-resistant, unforgeable and also thermally and chemically resilient marking.

Benefits of using a Trotec laser

  • Comprehensive product portfolio with the appropriate laser system for every necessity.

Trotec Product Recommendation

for the laser marking of promotional items, signs and much more

Speedy flexx Laser engraver

Single laser machine consisting of CO2 and fiber lasers for highest flexibility and limitless applications.

More Details

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Are you looking to know more about Trotec laser machines and applications?

We invite you to visit our Johannesburg showroom where you will see our comprehensive range of laser machines perfectly suited to your needs. Our sales and service laser experts look forward to assisting you with all laser processing enquiries you may have.  

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Opportunities for laser marking metals

Laser marking, or engraving metals has various procedures, depending on the class requirements and material in use. Treated metals, steel, stainless steels, anodized aluminium and other metals can be engraved, marked or refined with a laser beam. These individual methods have distinct advantages and disadvantages.

Understanding laser engraving of metals

Metals that are mostly engraved are stainless steel, coated metals and other. During the process of laser engraving on the metal, deep engraving tends to create a visible mark. The engraving causes the removal of the material, thus material evaporates and the colour deviations. The laser engraver releases a powerful energy causing metal materials such as stainless steel, titanium and other metals to be vaporized. Once the engraving is complete, the residual brown colour on the metal can be wiped using further marking processes (i.e polishing).

Understanding the polishing process

On titanium and other metals, polishing leaves a white residue. Polishing implies a “lighter” form of laser engraving. The power of the laser is condensed to allow the evaporation of the material. As a subsequent of the polishing, a reduced amount of material is detached and on most of the other materials for example stainless steel, a white marking is created.

Understanding how the laser marking of metals work

During laser marking or annealing, the material surface is not affected due to the nature of the marking process. The material is thus not removed during the annealing marking. When heating the metal, the colour is automatically changed. For instance, the colour of the stainless steel changes at temperatures between 200°C and 300°C and various colours can be achieved with different temperatures. The goal is usually a “perfect black”. Perfect black markings are can be achieved on stainless steel and titanium, but not on other metals. Annealing is also possible on any alloys that contain iron.

Engrave and mark metals with CO2 or fiber lasers?

The galvo or fiber laser is known as the seamless tool for metal marking to achieve productivity and quality. Pre or post-treatment of the metal is not required, as the outcome of the marking is even and highly detailed.

Uncoated metals can be marked with a CO2 laser engraving machine using only laser marking solutions. The metal marking solution must be applied to the workpiece. It first needs to dry and then will be burned into the material during the laser process. Once the laser process has finished, the excess marking paste must be washed off.

The marking of sensitive surfaces of high-priced workpieces e.g. watches with laser marking sprays is critical due to cleaning. Furthermore, it is important to note that marking solutions are classified as hazardous materials. Thus, the corresponding safety regulations must be adhered to in order to protect your own safety and that of your employees.

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