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Laser Marking and Engraving on Metal


In this article, Couth will be discussing laser marking and engraving on metal in detail. This is an amazing technique with advanced technology used in different industrial sectors, such as manufacturing, automobiles, and jewellery.

It consists of using a high-powered laser beam to mark or engrave designs, texts, or codes on different kinds of metals.

This marking or engraving process has become the preferred option in comparison with other conventional methods, such as mechanical engraving or the use of chemical products. This is because laser marking offers precise, long-lasting, and high-quality results without damaging the metal’s surface.

In fact, this is an automated procedure, which provides fast, uniform results and the design can be precisely reproduced, even to microscopic detail.

In short, laser marking and engraving on metal is an innovative, highly effective, and high-value technique for a multitude of industrial sectors.

Advantages and disadvantages of laser engraving on metal

Technology for laser marking and engraving on metal is constantly growing. Day-by-day, it has become more popular around the world because it makes designing and personalising products easier.

However, before purchasing a laser engraving machine, it is important to know the benefits of doing so.

As such, we will mention the most important advantages here:

Advantages of laser marking on metal

  1. Precision: Laser marking on metal provides precise, detailed results, even with small or intricate designs.
  2. Durability: Laser marking creates permanent marks on metal, which guarantees that they will not be erased, fade, or deteriorate over time.
  3. Versatility: Laser technology is suitable for marking or engraving different kinds of metals, including stainless steel, aluminium, copper, brass, iron, and more.
  4. Flexibility: Laser marking on metal can adapt to different surfaces, shapes, and sizes, from flat surfaces to curved or irregular ones.
  5. Speed: The laser marking process is automated, which provides faster results in comparison with traditional marking methods.

It should be noted that, in Spain, there are different companies that work in laser marking machine production, and Couth is a shining example. Our company, as well as other similar ones, is designed to meet the needs of industries that need this, providing technical support when required.

Procedure for laser marking on metal

The step-by-step procedure for laser marking on metal may vary slightly, depending on the equipment and manufacturer specifications. However, as follows we provide a description of the general process:

  1. Preparing the equipment: Verify that the laser device is in good operating condition and that all necessary settings are properly configured. Make sure that the device’s control software has been installed and updated.
  2. Material preparation: Clean the surface of the metal to eliminate all contaminants and dirt that could interfere with the laser mark. Make sure that the metal piece is placed safely in the fastening device.
  3. Mark design: Use laser design software to create or import that design you want to mark on the metal. Make sure you adjust the size, position, and other parameters as necessary.
  4. Laser configuration: Adjust the laser parameters, such as beam intensity, marking speed and frequency depending on the type of metal and desired depth. These parameters can vary based on the material’s properties and design preferences.
  5. Focus configuration: Adjust the distance between the laser head and the metal’s surface to guarantee a precise, optimum focus. Use the tools and help provided by the laser device to obtain an adequate focus.
  6. Start marking: Once all settings have been adjusted, begin the laser marking process by pressing the start button or using the pertinent command in the control software. The laser will begin to issue a high-energy light beam and will mark the metal according to the established settings and design.
  7. Verification and finish: Once the laser mark is complete, verify that the result meets your expectations in terms of quality, depth, and clarity. If necessary, make adjustments or improvements as needed. Then carefully remove the metal piece.

Importance of marking metal in the iron and steel industry

Generally, pieces are marked in the iron and steel industry. For example, with information that is not only useful for the manufacturer to trace the product, because also because it can be used throughout its entire life cycle, from the moment it is distributed until it is used for its intended purpose.

The information it may contain includes the date it was made, expiry date, batch and serial number, and more.

Laser marking on metal is highly important in the iron and steel industry because of its different benefits. These are some of the reasons why laser marking is widely used in this industry:

  1. Identification and traceability: Laser marking on metal allows you to identify and permanently, legibly mark different steel products and components, which makes it easier to trace and track throughout the entire supply chain.
  2. This is especially important in the iron and steel industry, where a large number of products are handled and rigorous quality control is a must.
  3. Wear resistance: Laser marking is extremely long-lasting and resistant to wear because it penetrates the surface of the metal, creating a permanent mark that does not fade over time or erase easily.
  4. Flexibility and precision: Laser marking provides complex, detailed, and high-resolution marks on different kinds of metals.
  5. Speed and efficiency: Laser marking on metal is a fast and efficient process, so you can increase productivity and streamline manufacturing processes in the iron and steel industry. Moreover, since it is an automated process, it does not require constant manual intervention, which reduces labour costs.
  6. Compliance with regulations and standards: Laser marking on metal meets the quality regulations and standards required in the iron and steel industry, since it guarantees product legibility and traceability. This is especially important in sectors such as automobile, aerospace, etc.

Types of identification used in metal marking

There are several types of identification used in laser marking on metal. Some of the main ones are:

  1. Barcodes: Two-dimensional or linear barcodes are used to encode information, such as serial numbers, manufacturing dates, product codes, and more. These codes can be quickly scanned to obtain the information. One of the most common ones are QR codes.
  2. Datamatrix Code: This mark is similar to a barcode, with the difference that the system has two dimensions, and its information storage capacity is greater.
  3. DPM or Direct Part Marking: This kind of marking can be done individually on one particular part. Its finish means that it has greater traceability throughout its entire life cycle.
  4. Serial numbers: With laser marking, you can permanently and legibly engrave unique serial numbers on each metal part. This provides traceability and monitoring for each product throughout its life cycle.
  5. Company logotypes and marks: You can engrave company logotypes and marks on metal parts to strengthen the brand identity and provide product recognition.
  6. Alphanumeric text and information: Laser marking provides precise, legible engraving of text and numbers on metal parts. This is especially useful for providing instructions, precautions, dates, batches, and other relevant data.

It should be noted that these are just some of the most commonly used identification types with laser marking on metal. Selection of the kind of identification to use depends on the requirements and specific needs of each industry and application.


The future of the iron and steel industry in marking metal parts

It is a fact that consumption is high and growing around an increasingly globalized world, and the metal market, whether stainless steel or otherwise, has been optimised.

Technology is being developed such that not only is the process guaranteed, but the marks are also long-lasting and even permanent throughout the part’s entire life cycle.

At Couth, for example, we work every day to improve technology to meet the iron and steel industry’s needs.

Having said this, as follows we provide some trends and developments expected for the future of the iron and steel industry in terms of laser marking on metal:

  1. Greater precision and resolution: We expect ongoing improvements to the precision and resolution of systems for laser marking on metal. This will allow you to create more detailed and complex marks on metals, which opens up new opportunities for design and personalisation.
  2. Broader applications: As techniques and technologies for laser marking on metal become more advanced, we expect that the range of applications will grow. In addition to marking parts, laser marking for metal will be used more often for product traceability, classification, and metal identification.
  3. Integration with other processes: We expect that laser marking on metal will integrate more closely with other processes in the iron and steel industry. For example, we expect that laser marking systems will integrate onto existing production lines, which will provide greater efficiency and automation for the marking process.
  4. Progress in marking speed: One of the challenges in laser marking on metal is marking speed, especially when there are large production volumes. In the future, we expect to develop technologies that provide faster marking without compromising quality and legibility of the marks.
  5. Development of new kinds of lasers: There are different kinds of lasers used for laser marking on metal, such as fibre and diode lasers.

At this point, all we can say is that if you need a company specialised in laser marking and engraving on metal, please do not hesitate to contact us. At Couth, we offer the best industrial marking solutions.