I Can Use a Laser Marking Machine for That? | MECCO Blog


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I Can Use a Laser Marking Machine for That?

by Joshua Christley
Can a marking laser be used for other applications

If you’ve ever wondered, “Can a marking laser machine be used for other applications?” you may be surprised to discover just how versatile this technology can be.

In addition to permanently marking products and parts for identification and traceability, there are some other valuable applications that can help you get more done in less time with less equipment.

The range of applications depends on two main factors: 1) the type of laser machine you have and 2) how powerful that machine is.

Let’s take a look at a couple alternative laser marking uses to maximize your investment.

Metal Cutting

While not as tough as a diamond, metal is one of the strongest materials on the planet.  High-powered fiber lasers (which run on a wavelength of 1064nm) are often used to mark or engrave metal, as well as a wide variety of materials, with serial numbers, bar codes, 2D Data Matrix, and graphics.

Because fiber lasers heat rapidly, melting material in its path, they can also cut through metals and metal alloys with a sufficient amount of power. This method saves manufacturers time and equipment costs by using a single machine to both cut parts and impart permanent traceability, all without sacrificing quality.

This capability is particularly useful in many manufacturing factories, where laser markers can replace additional computer-driven laser cutting machines.

Organic Material Cutting

When you’re working with organic materials, such as wood and packaging, CO2 lasers are your best bet for achieving high-quality marks at high speeds. This technology offers these same advantages when used for cutting.

CO2 laser beams work by quickly heating and vaporizing materials directly in its path. With enough power, a CO2 laser can cut through these materials, leaving smooth, straight cuts with minimal discoloration, as you can see in this video of laser cutting paper.

Plastic Welding

Manufacturing, especially in the automotive industry, is increasingly using more plastic parts to reduce weight and costs. In recent years, the use of laser plastic welding has grown because it efficiently and seamlessly joins components, unlike older methods such as screws and adhesive bonding.

Fiber lasers can melt and plasticize materials forming a cohesive joint. The ultimate result is hermetic seals, shorter cycle times, and lower lifecycle costs.

Multiple Uses. Multiple Benefits.

Fiber and CO2 lasers can offer you the flexibility and savings that go right to your bottom line. From marking and engraving to cutting and welding, these multipurpose machines can yield valuable results:

  • Quick, precise marks and cuts
  • Fewer mistakes thanks to computerized control
  • Reduced waste and costs
  • Smaller footprint on the factory floor

Before trying any of these applications, be certain you have the right equipment and safety procedures in place. Talk to a MECCO Application Engineer, who can review your processes, application ideas, and even run samples.

Plan for success with a marking project assessment call

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