Manufacturers are increasingly requiring identification marks on their products to improve traceability. It is typically ink printing that is used for marking, however, this method is becoming outdated, especially in the medical industry, as ink can easily be removed, altered, or contaminated. It is for this reason that many manufacturers begin to mark their products with ultraviolet lasers.
The use of laser marking makes it easy to identify parts and verify their authenticity without having to use any tools that would etch or transfer substances onto the surface. The laser light is focused onto a material, producing marks that are damage-free and easy to read. Laser marking allows Apple Rubber to add model numbers, bar codes, logos and more to its customers’ o-rings and seals.
UV laser marking offers four main benefits for your manufacturing facility:
1. Flexible processing
It is possible to use UV Laserbeschriftung on a wide variety of products, including those used in aerospace, automotive, defense, medical and electronic components. Apple Rubber uses laser marking for virtually every o-ring or seal that requires product identification.
The law requires product authenticity and traceability in many industries. The automotive industry, for example, uses part traceability to find out when and where a product component was produced, which is beneficial for product recalls. It is imperative to use an effective and reliable marking method due to the importance of product identification.
2. Overall speed
It is common in traditional ink marking for printing equipment to be mechanically complex, which requires longer downtimes for maintenance and frequent cleaning. The engraving process is extremely quick and simple with UV laser marking, since there is no prolonged downtime associated with printer repairs and maintenance.
UV lasers are better absorbed by most materials than other wavelengths and marking techniques, so they require less power for clear marking. UV laser marking ensures a high-quality, high-contrast mark in one application, further simplifying the process.
3. Maximizes authenticity
The UV laser creates easy-to-read marks that are much better than printed marks or labels. The laser used by Apple Rubber produces a high level of power and can focus on smaller spot sizes, resulting in crisp, clear marks on o-rings and seals. It ensures that parts can be clearly identified and their markings cannot be altered or tampered with.
The pharmaceutical industry has been impacted by counterfeiting which has many negative economic and social implications. Pharma manufacturers are limited by what types of markings they can use on their products, so they must choose a mark that is tamper-resistant, easy to read, and compatible with their specific environments without altering the product. This makes laser marking the ideal choice for this industry and others who demand complete authenticity.
4. Minimizes contamination
While traditional marking methods use non-toxic ink, printing equipment uses lubricants and solvents that can get into the air and contaminate printed products. A cleanroom is often necessary in the medical manufacturing industry to produce completely sterile products. A traditional label would not work in this instance.
The laser marking process uses no direct contact between the marking device and the product, permitting clean operation with minimal contamination. The solution offers a sterile product identification option for industries that require sterile products and ensures that outside materials will not cause contamination of a product in the future.