Important Considerations for laser marking an identifier on
ong>Importong>anong>tong> considerations ong>forong> ong>laserong> ong>markingong> ong>anong> ong>identifierong> on die casting parts A. Fraser Laserax Inc, 2811 avenue Watt, Québec, QC, G1X 4S8, Cong>anong>ada J. Maltais 1 , A. Monroe 2 , M. Hartlieb 3 , X. Godmaire 1 1 Laserax Inc, 2811 avenue Watt, Québec, QC, G1X 4S8, Cong>anong>ada 2 Mercury Marine, W6250 Pioneer Road, Fond du Lac, WI, 54936, USA 3 Viami International, 267 rue Alice Carrière, Beaconsfield, QC, H9W 6E6, Cong>anong>ada ABSTRACT Traceability ong>anong>d individual part ong>markingong> of castings is becoming increasingly importong>anong>t. Different ong>markingong> technologies are available ong>anong>d have been presented ong>anong>d discussed in the previous paper (NADCA 2016). For die casting in most cases ong>laserong> ong>markingong> is clearly the most suitable technology - ong>anong>d sometimes actually the only viable ong>anong>d/or long term most economical one. This is due to the fast cycle time; harsh environment (lubricong>anong>ts ong>anong>d dust on parts, ong>anong>d their high temperature when marked); heat treatment ong>anong>d/or subsequent surface treatments (like shot blasting, e-coating, painting, etc.) of the parts which the ong>markingong> needs to survive ong>anong>d remain readable not only ong>forong> the humong>anong> eye but also ong>forong> automatic 2D bar code readers (otherwise a perfectly good casting has to be scrapped); ong>anong>d the often complex 3D shapes to be marked. Part ong>markingong> should never be the bottleneck in the process or a contributor to scrap rate due to unreadable ong>markingong>s. And it is not just ong>anong>y ong>laserong> marker that is capable of doing this complex job. It requires a dedicated system tuned ong>forong> the specific application ong>anong>d process. In this paper we present ong>anong>d discuss ong>laserong> safety (often a concern), ong>anong>d how a system might be designed ong>anong>d developed that is easy to install while guarong>anong>teeing Class 1 ong>laserong> safety in ong>anong>y typical die casting environment. We also show the results of extensive research work that has been done since last year’s paper ong>anong>d the successful development of a completely suitable ong>laserong> ong>markingong> system ong>forong> die casting, including pre-engineered solutions ong>forong> easy retrofitting into existing die casting cells. INTRODUCTION Direct part ong>markingong> is a way to trace parts throughout the whole process of production ong>anong>d after in the use phase of the product. This practice is becoming a necessity in the die casting industry – as it is in mong>anong>y others. There are some challenges associated with the environment ong>anong>d the processes undergone by die castings. This includes short cycle time, surfaces that are not (perfectly) flat, high temperature, abrasive post-treatment. In a previous study, we presented several technologies used to identify parts . The ong>laserong> ong>markingong> technology proved to meet these numerous criteria. To mark ong>anong> ong>identifierong> on metal, we use the high energy of a pulse fiber ong>laserong> in the infrared, which is absorbed by the surface. This way we cong>anong> reach the minimum degradation energy threshold of the material ong>anong>d modify its surface ong>anong>d the way it is reflecting the ambient light to create high contrast ong>markingong>. The ong>laserong> is computer controlled ong>anong>d it is possible to mark ong>anong>ything efong>forong>tlessly, ong>forong> example a serial number, 2D barcode, 1D barcode, logo ong>anong>d more. Moreover, the ong>markingong> time depends among other things on the average power of the ong>laserong>, so it is possible to adapt the ong>laserong> power to respect the cycle time while minimizing the cost of the solution.