Table of Contents
What is a UID Marking?
UID means Unique Identifier. It makes record unique, unambiguous and traceable. These labels are permanent marked labels to give a unique ID to the parts. These days, UID labels are very popular in various commercial industries such as Aerospace, Auto sector, Electronics, Medical and Defense industries.
Popular Solutions for UID Marking
UID Marking can be done by various methods. E.g.
- Inkjet printing
- Chemical Etching
- Dot Peening Method
- Laser Marking
Inkjet Printing and Dot Peening method are inexpensive but they lack resolution. In Inkjet Printing the life expectancy is another limitation. With inkjet printing permanent marks cannot be created. Costly inks and time consuming process further limits its usability. Chemical etching is particularly found to be useful in very hard materials.
Although it is also inexpensive, the continuous use of hazardous chemicals is in no way favorable, especially considering the current stricter regulatory norms. As compared to these methods, Laser Marking offers many advantages that makes it obvious choice in different industries.
Advantage of Using Laser to Create UID Marks
Long life, composition and type of materials, environmental effect, cost effectiveness and production volume are some of the important considerations based on which a specific marking method can be decided.
Laser marking is a contactless process. It does not make any contact with mechanical parts during the marking process. There is no requirement of consumables as in case of Inkjet Printing. Laser marking is also maintenance free. In laser marking, the laser beam alters the properties of point of contact without any surface removal.
It changes the appearance and therefore the contrast of material. The laser parameters like output power, marking speed, pulse duration, pulse repetition frequency, wavelength of laser provides a great flexibility for the optimization of marking labels.
Creating UID Labels with JPT Laser
JPT offers a large variety of laser that can be chosen based on the specific requirement. As an example, marking in plastic can be different from marking in metals and therefore different laser requirements. JPT makes sure to customize the laser system that is best suited to industry specific. For example, JPT’s M7 series is suitable for common metals, some of the plastic materials and non-metallic materials.
While JPT’s DPSS laser series is particularly suitable for glass, plastics and common metals. In the following paragraphs, a guide to laser marking in different materials is presented. Additionally, corresponding JPT’s laser marking parameters with specific laser series is also given:
1. ABS Marking:
ABS is an opaque materials widely used in protective electronic enclosure, automobile parts, various consumer products, music instruments and toys etc. It is well known for its impact resistance and toughness.
Laser Marking Parameters: Laser Type: Seal-355-5; Lens: F254 Speed: 1500 mm/s Pulse width: 3-5 us Cross Hatch: 0.045 mm
2. PVC Pipe Laser Marking
Marking in PVC pipe is done to print coding information, temperature and pressure rating, brand, date, dimension etc. Laser marking effects are much better and long lasting compared to inkjet printing.
Laser Marking Parameters: Laser Type: Seal-355-15; Lens: F254 Speed: 3000 – 5000 mm/s Pulse width: 9 us Cross Hatch: singlet line
3. Bitmap Marking On Stainless Steel
UID marking in stainless steel may require some strict criteria that are not possible by other printing methods. For example, in case of medical devices, inkjet printing will not work as they are not permanent and will fade away due to repeated use. On the other hand laser engraving will remove the surface and rust will be an issue. Laser marking is a perfect alternative and we get rid of above mentioned drawbacks.
Laser Marking Parameters: Laser Type: YDFLP-20-M7 Lens: F254 Speed: 1000 mm/s Pulse width: 100-200 ns
4. Artificial leather Marking
In recent years, there has been a dramatic growth in synthetic leather market. It is composed of PVC or PU polymers. In laser marking process the laser energy density is kept very low. Absorption of both PVA and PU is slightly different and therefore laser parameters are accordingly adjusted.
Laser Marking Parameters: Laser Type: Seal-355-5; Lens: F254 Speed: 1000 mm/s, Pulse width: 60 us Cross Hatch: 0.04 mm
5. Glass Marking
Glass is a non crystalline material and generally transparent to visible light wavelength. Different methods are used for glass marking. As an example, an absorbing coating material can be applied over the glass surface that can bind into glass selectively through welding by laser beam. In the binding material colored pigments are present that works like a contrasting mark.
Laser Marking Parameters: Laser Type: Seal-355-5; Lens: F160 Speed: 200 mm/s, Pulse width: 120 us Cross Hatch: 0.02 mm