Why choose laser marking over printing?


To make sure our website works as smoothly as possible, we use cookies. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our use of cookies.

Accept Find out more


Why choose laser marking over printing?

Laser marking vs printing

If you manufacture products or components, you know how important it is to mark your parts with a part number, model number, barcode, or a logo. This makes it easy for you and your customers to identify parts in the future for replacement or repair. However, far too many manufacturing operations rely on older product marking methods and are missing out on the advantages of more modern a technologies. 

You have several options when it comes to marking your parts. For years, printing and labeling were popular applications. Yet, as laser technology evolved, a new solution emerged that performed better in terms of mark permanence and cost savings — laser marking (also commonly referred to as "laser engraving" or "laser etching"). Before you choose a part marking solution, it is important to understand what laser marking is and what its potential benefits are over printing and labeling.

What exactly is laser engraving?

First, let's talk about this technology. Laser engraving (or laser marking or etching) is used to create permanent characters, part numbers, logos, graphics, barcodes, and other marks on a substrate. Laser engraving does not involve a physical tool etching the surface, nor does it transmit ink or any other substance onto the surface; instead, the laser light is focused onto a material, which in turn produces a contrasting mark or a deep mark depending on the settings being used.


Manufacturers rely on a number of different laser marking machines to complete these tasks. From low power desktop machines ideal for small batches, to fully integrated custom laser marking systems within a production line, laser marking systems can outperform print and labels with more attractive markings and more permanent results.

Benefits of Laser Engraving vs. Printing or Labeling

There are times when an inkjet solution just makes more sense for an operation. Often, though, more companies are finding that laser marking is actually the more cost- and eco-efficient option. And they're seeing benefits throughout their entire operation. 

Here are just a few of the benefits you can experience when you choose laser marking for your part engraving applications:

  • Cost savings: High volume manufacturers can greatly reduce costs with laser marking, which typically costs significantly less per mark than ink or labels. The consumable cost for ink or labels will far exceed the initial cost of a laser.
  • Sustainability: With less consumables than printing and labeling processes, laser marking is more environmentally friendly. So your operation can help reduce stress on the planet as well as your bottom line. 
  • Permanence: Stickers fall off and ink fades, but when you use laser etching, you have a permanent mark that will stand the test of time. That means even if you are marking a part that won’t need replacing for five, ten, or twenty years, your customer will be able to read that part number or scan its barcode.
  • Visibility: A laser mark is easy to read and vibrant by both humans and machines, providing time savings far superior to a printed mark.
  • Speed: Laser engraving is fast and simple. Our machines will help you mark your parts faster and with more accuracy, so you can increase your throughput.
  • Flexibility: Laser marking works on a wide variety of materials. Whether you are working with metals, plastics, or natural materials like cardboard, there is a laser marking solution that will work for you.
  • Minimal maintenance: Avoid downtime associated with cleaning or unclogging a printer when you utilize laser marking systems that don’t use messy consumables.

Exampes of operations switching to laser engraving

After years of using roll stamps through inkjets to mark its products, Jiffy-tite, which manufactures quick connect fittings for the automotive and transportation industries, needed a better solution. Inkjet consumables were prone to issues and costly to maintain. Moreover, the impermanent marks were subjecting their parts to counterfeiting and grey market risks. Their inefficient process was also leaving them with uneven marks and other quality issues. 

Working with the MECCO team, Jiffy-tite transitioned to a SMARTmark 20W Fiber Laser marking system. The system not only met all AIAG requirements, it also created a small, non-evasive mark perfect for their time and date stamp along with a logo. These marks helped them in their anti-counterfeiting initiatives. 

This machine was integrated into a proprietary cam-driven rotary dial with a per part laser mark time of only 0.8 seconds. The speed of the laser mark was more than adequate and produced a much better mark than any other marking system the company had reviewed.

Aside from significant improvements in clarity and quality, the return on investment from this technology comes in the form of savings in cash, man-hours, and sorting costs. 

Read the full success story here

If you are considering a laser engraving system, or just want to talk to an expert about the options available to you, contact our experts. Our team can help you find the right solution for your business -- customer service and your satisfaction are our top concerns. No matter what your laser marking needs, we want to have “The MECCO Experience” of Innovative Relationships and Innovative Solutions.

Comments (0)