Laser marking is ideal for branding, product traceability, barcoding, logos and decorative marking. This is the same process as raster engraving but with laser marking a ceramic marking compound is applied to the surface of the metal, as the laser passes over it permanently bonds a black to dark grey finish to the surface.

Laser marking works on almost any metal substrate including:

  • stainless steel
  • brass
  • aluminium
  • titanium
  • chrome plating
  • nickel
  • similar metals which are highly resistant to mechanical and chemical stresses as well as high temperatures.

Laser marking and traceability

Components that are designed for harsh environments need to retain information for traceability, this will include a part number, serial number or manufacturer details. Laser marking is suitable for this application as the surface of the component is marked using a ceramic coating applied to the metal that permanently bonds to the surface by the laser. With laser marking, the surface of the material remains intact – this means that the component can retain its corrosion qualities. Laser metal marking is ideal for machine plate marking, aerospace and automotive components where corrosion or contamination must be avoided.

Marking products for traceability is a vital process that ensures your products can be identified easily helping you deal with warranties and returns quickly and efficiently or to comply with regulations. It will also enable maintenance of records for serial and batch numbers. Traceability procedures are needed not just for internal purposes, but also benefit end retailers, customers and recyclers. The ability to track a product back to the source provides peace of mind and vital information. With a simple, comprehensive traceability procedure, the impact of product recalls can be minimised as all shipped stock can be easily traced to determine if it has been affected. With more laws to protect consumers coming into force product recalls are becoming more commonplace.

Main types of traceability

Internal traceability

This procedure allows the tracking and monitoring of products and parts within a specific section of the supply chain. This is usually defined as a single company or processing department. For example, an internal traceability procedure would track the item from arrival as raw materials, through the machining or manufacturing of the parts, to dispatch. This is usually achieved with the marking of an identification number, with relevant information linked to this number accessible to those who need it. Need to improve your internal traceability? Ask us about our laser marking service.

Chain traceability

This is the general term used when referring to external traceability, and generally is what people mean when they refer to the process of traceability. Overall this means that the entire history of the product can be traced from procurement of raw materials to the end of its lifecycle. Manufacturers can trace forward to where their products have been delivered, and consumers can trace backwards. The manufacturing of a product can be made up of many parts, with the item often moving through many different manufacturers. So it is vital that it is clearly identifiable and traceable through each part of the process. Our CO2 laser marking service is ideal for this.

Traceability can vastly improve the speed and quality of your processes. In the competitive world of manufacturing, the ability to cut cost and reduce waste can be the key to survival. Also, consumers can have peace of mind knowing their product has followed a comprehensive, structured and observable production process. One of the most reliable methods of ensuring identification numbers are visible to everyone in the process is by permanently marking them on the part or product itself. The most common method for achieving this is laser marking.

Laser marking service

We provide a CO2 laser marking service. CO2 laser marking is a reliable and versatile process and is usually preferred when working with very thin metal or plastic, as the laser can mark without cutting deep into the surface affecting the product or material.

If you need some more advice, please contact us. We are only a phone call away for advice or a quotation

 

 

Laser marked stainless steel with ceramic paste for QR coding traceability          Stainless steel marked machine tags by a ceramic paste leaving crisp black text. Laser marking on brass and stainless steel coasters