Since its inception in the late 1950s, lasers have been used to perform marking and engraving activities. For a majority of the time, two main laser systems were used by various industries – lamp pumped and diode pumped laser marking systems. Recently, new advances in research and technology have given way to a new laser system – fiber-based laser markers.
What are Fiber Laser Marking Systems?
These systems have been designed based on the latest in fiber pumping technology. The laser system is comprised of groups of optical fibers, which are impregnated with rare-earth atoms. Light-emitting diodes shine into the fibers, which pump the rare-earth atoms. When a majority of the rare-earth atoms are excited, a laser is created.
How are the First Generation Laser Systems Different from Fiber Laser Markers?
First generation flash lamp laser marking machines use a glass tube filled with a noble gas and a crystal rod with rare-earth atoms. A high voltage passes through the tube generating short bursts of intense white light. The light is then focused onto the crystal rod, pumping the rare-earth atoms to create the laser. Diode laser marking systems utilize semiconductor based LEDs in place of the noble gas filled tube. The light from the LEDs is focused onto the crystal rod, creating the laser.
Comparing Fiber and First Generation Laser Marking Systems
All three systems are being used for marking and engraving activities across America. Therefore, the only way to judge if one system is better is to create a comparison between the systems.
Benefits and Disadvantages of First Generation Laser Marking Systems
High energy beam
Long service life
Large and bulky, requires a lot of factory space
Both systems require an external cooling system for heat control
Benefits and Disadvantages of Fiber Laser Marking Systems
Beam quality is better compared to first generation systems
Provides durability in terms of laser marking
Laser volatility is reduced to a great extent
Eco-friendly – does not utilize harsh chemicals
Easy to install in any location
Uses air cooling system, which eliminates need for external cooling
Does not utilize any consumable resources
Requires minimal maintenance
It is clear to see from the comparison that fiber laser technology trumps first generation laser systems. With its wide range of benefits, fiber laser marking systems can support a variety of industries including medical, OEM, military, and research laboratories.