How to Choose the Best Laser Machine for Your Marking Application – Part II

In the previous post, we elaborated on the initial points customers need to consider when choosing a laser machine. This continuing post discusses the remaining points.

Points to Consider when Choosing Laser Marking Machines

The points below provide details about the size and quality of the laser beam, as well as the machines’ marking capabilities.

  • Marking Quality: While the marking time and depth is easy to quantify, the mark quality will differ with the customer’s requirements. Customers need to consider the resolution, edge quality, line width, HAZs, color contrast, etc. before they decide on a particular laser machine.
  • Beam Quality: A laser machine’s beam quality is measured by a metric value known as M2. When the M2 value is small, it means that the beam quality is at a high level. A laser beam with an M2 value of 1 is of the highest quality. The beam size can be reduced down to a small spot, while providing high energy density. Also, when the beam quality is high, the chance of it getting out of focus when working with round or uneven materials is decreased.
  • Mark Field Size: This refers to the area within which the laser marking takes place. The focal length of the laser is directly related to the mark field. If the focal length is long, the mark field will be large, but the power density will drop.

 
Other Considerations

  • When using the laser with a higher speed, the frequency should be increased. This will increase the chances for pulses to overlap.
  • As much as possible, the pulses should overlap with one another. This ensures good edge quality, and a smooth surface after the laser marking procedure has been completed.

The three technologies, Nd:YAG, CO2, and Ytterbium Fiber, provide a variety of benefits to customers. It will also allow customers from the manufacturing sector to perform complete design and manufacturing in-house. If all three technologies are available, customers will have the opportunity to test them, and find the machine that is best suited for their applications.