Laser Technology Custom Machine BuildersLaser machines are vital to our economy. We need them to mark and engrave identifying information onto parts and products.

Without them, our free market would be vulnerable to counterfeited goods and companies would have a harder time proving that they adhere to regulations and quality standards.

Now that you know the importance of laser machines, let’s learn about how they work and what makes them different from each other.

Overview of Laser Machines

All the laser machines we mention in this blog post are used to put identifying information onto parts and products. How they do this depends on the type of machine you’re using and how the laser interacts with the marking surface.

We offer laser machines that mark and engrave. While these may sound similar, there are key differences that will affect the look of your final product.

Lasers can impart the following types of information:

  • Product Numbers
  • Serial Numbers
  • Manufacturing Dates
  • Data Matrix Codes
  • Locations
  • Other Identifiers

Laser Marking

Laser marking doesn’t cut anything, but rather uses a slow-moving, low-powered beam to discolor the surface so you can create bar codes, QR codes, and other identifying information where you need high contrast. The main benefit of laser marking is that you don’t have to remove material, so the surface remains intact and uninterrupted.

One of the most common types of laser marking is annealing, which is often used to mark stainless steel and titanium medical devices. As the laser heats the material, it creates a permanent oxide layer on the surface that presents as black markings. For this reason, annealing can also be called “laser oxidation marking.” You may also use laser marking for plastic materials, which is called “charring.”

Laser Engraving

Unlike laser marking, engraving cuts into the material to create an image that can be seen at eye level. Engraving can be divided into three sub-categories depending on how deep the laser penetrates the marking surface: etching, deep laser engraving, and laser ablation.

Laser etching removes 0.001” or less of the material while deep laser engraving and ablation remove more material to leave behind a deeper mark. For deep engravings, you may need to do several passes with the laser to get the depth you want.

Call Paramount Tool Company

Lasers are powerful tools that are used by a wide range of industries. However, it’s important that you choose the best laser machine for your application so you can get the most return on investment. If you have any questions, we recommend giving us a call. We would be more than happy to help you select a laser machine that will best suit the parts and products you need to identify.

Paramount Tool Company is a laser installation company in Holland, MI. As such, we understand that each piece of equipment is an investment in your business. That’s why we do everything we can to make sure you have the facts you need to make an informed decision. To request an estimate for a laser machine, call (616) 582-5300.