As we know there are a lot of wavelength lasers that can be utilized for marking/engraving. The predominant ones are CO2 and YAG lasers. These wavelengths stretch the spectrum from far infrared to close to infrared. The option as to which laser form to use is definitely primarily based on the material getting marked.
For this short article, we are going to concentrate on Yb: Fiber lasers that variety from 1060 to 1070 nanometers. These are most usually utilized for marking metals, attaining contrast on particular plastics and paint/ink removal. As the laser sources are primarily the very same in between galvo and flatbed units, the actual beam delivery program is the crucial selection point.
1st a rapid definition of each and every form is warranted. Galvo is quick for “galvanometer ” which is a higher speed, higher accuracy motor that is utilized to direct the beam to a place in space. The term “steered beam” is normally utilized as a descriptor for this form of laser. Mirrors are mounted to the finish of two independent galvo motors and incredibly rapid deflection of the two mirrors functioning in tandem will cover an location with the focused beam. Unique optics referred to as “flat field” lenses makes it possible for the beam to be delivered perpendicular to the perform piece more than a offered location. The most typical field sizes are four” sq (five.five” diameter) and 7″ sq, or eight” diameter. Usually speaking the marking top quality is about the very same across the whole field.
Flatbed lasers, also recognized as “gantry” lasers provide the beam by means of a XY plotter program most normally driven by AC or DC servo motors. This is a delivery form much more typical to CO2 lasers but is becoming broadly utilized with Yb: Fiber lasers and YVO4 Vanadate lasers. The mixture of the servo motors and belt driven gantry arms makes it possible for for big location to be covered. There are quite a few gantry form Fiber lasers that let locations as big as 24″ x 36″ to be addressed. Primarily based on the plotter style of delivery the beam is focused via the center a basic lens and down on to the perform piece. The XY axis then moves the focused beam about the marking location in a linear motion (normally in raster mode).
So why is one particular superior than yet another? In reality, you can not say one particular is superior without the need of working with the actual application or approach as the driving indicator. I have had the chance to perform for organizations who provide each sorts. This each a blessing and curse from a salesman's viewpoint. Most organizations who manufacture a flatbed program do not have the knowledge or experience to place out a competitive galvo unit. On the other hand, it is good to have each and every technologies to fall back on.
So possibly the very first rule of thumb is to look at what the vendor's important merchandise are. If they make flatbeds, rotary engraver, percussion stampers and so forth…galvo lasers are almost certainly not their principal concern. I perform for Electrox, who does practically nothing but make steered beam, laser marking systems. There are quite a few other organizations who operate in the very same mode, exactly where galvos are their specialty. Likewise, there are a quantity of organizations exactly where flatbed lasers are their bread and butter. In deciding on the technologies, look at the know-how base of the supplier.
If cycle time is not the principal situation, I advocate acquiring samples processed for evaluation by each technologies. Possessing marked components that you can examine side by side, with unique laser sorts is a luxury that one particular should really not pass up. If speed of the mark is the important, galvo systems are the only way to go. If your components are incredibly big, the flatbed program could be preferable although most galvo suppliers offer you a programmable XY table selection. Evaluate the pricing and the top quality of the marks if this is your predicament.
Galvos are substantially superior if the marking is going to be “inline”, i.e. on a automated production line. Most flatbeds are not suited for customization. Flatbeds, although slower in processing speed basically in some cases yield much more production when you are operating in batch mode. Batch mode is when you lay like components out in a matrix and then approach them in a rows and columns format. The reasonably slow speed of the flatbeds usually will let the operator to conduct other operations in parallel with the marking. A hint is to ask your vendor to provide a time study primarily based on your precise production specifications.
Fiber lasers, I am speaking of the actual “engine” of the program, are incredibly trustworthy and lengthy lasting. Galvo systems demand much less upkeep that flatbeds, but this is nominal for either. The longer stroke of the gantry sorts does produce circumstances exactly where belts want to be adjusted and alignment is much more crucial. Nonetheless this is a incredibly simple approach and commonly not an situation in production.
Flatbed systems normally operate off of a much more graphic oriented plan such as CorelDraw. So if you are performing a lot of image manipulation, logos, images this could be the superior option. If you are interested in variable text such as bar coding, serialization, and date coding the galvo systems are normally superior. Generally ask for a demo of the computer software when deciding on a laser. Note: I even wrote an earlier short article about deciding on laser marking computer software. Ease of use is important.
The choice of the gear is anything that you will have to reside with for some time, so it is mission crucial that you evaluate all the selections. Make positive that you recognize what you will be working with the laser for now and what you could want it for in the future. We as companies can not make machines larger, more quickly and less complicated to use immediately after the reality, so make positive you buy gear that can develop with you as your organization expands.
So in conclusion, by no means purchase strictly on value. Take into account all of the efficiency qualities of each and every form of beam delivery program and most importantly which form will be the largest benefit to you and your organization.