Laser Marking Systems / Laser Markers
Laser Marking Systems / Laser Markers
Mark in-focus on any part, anywhere.
The MD-X laser marker comes standard-equipped with a built-in distance sensor that enables automatic focal corrections. Eliminate manual height adjustments due to part variations in a few simple steps.
Mark the same location on any part, anywhere.
The MD-X Series contains a camera inside the laser marking head which can automatically identify a target’s shape. The laser marker can then adjust for X, Y and theta offsets to ensure the marking position is always correct.
The marking system is even able to distinguish between parts and mark each part accordingly.
Automatic fault protection and monitoring from anywhere.
The new MD-X uses predictive maintenance to eliminate problems before they occur. In the unlikely event of a marking defect, the laser marker features a wide range of diagnostic tools to identify the root cause and deploy countermeasures.
Reduced Setup Costs and Installation
The ML-Z Series locates the focal length at any distance within a 42-mm range. There's no need to design a complex mechanism to adjust the height of the marker during product changeovers.
300 x 300 mm Marking Area with Unprecedented Accuracy
Typical wide area marking applications require either a multiple marker installation, or an X/Y stage to index the target. The ML-Z’s 300 mm marking area reduces installation costs by eliminating the need for multiple marking heads and mechanical index devices. The variable focal range and spot size also helps to keep marking precision equal throughout the entire marking field.
Simply put, laser markers use high-energy light to mark the surface of a part. Laser markers vary by the wavelength of light, and different wavelengths are optimised for marking and processing different materials.
The majority of industrial laser markers are YVO4 lasers, fibre lasers, UV lasers, and CO2 lasers.
Laser markers are used to permanently mark text, logos, barcodes, or 2D codes on parts in all industries. Common marking types include oxidising, annealing, engraving, etching, discoloration, and processing.
Benefits of Laser Markers
Inkjet and pad-printing systems leave impermanent marks that can be rubbed off or fade away. Laser marking does not wear off or contaminate the product being marked.
Because laser markers use light to directly mark products, there is no need to purchase consumables, clean print heads, or perform other routine maintenance tasks that are necessary with conventional ink and label marking methods. This also helps reduce associated maintenance costs.
Typical systems can only mark in 2 dimensions (X and Y). KEYENCE laser markers have 3-axis beam control, allowing them to mark across a larger area, compensate for part variation, and correct for mounting restrictions with zero physical equipment adjustments.
For industries that use shot blasting for strengthening parts, laser markers can be a solution for ensuring shot blast-resistant marks. Laser markers use engraving to create 2D codes that do not get fully tarnished with shot blasting.
Laser Marker / Laser Engraver Case Studies
Laser marking in the automotive industry
Learn how laser markers are used with automotive parts. KEYENCE introduces specific laser marking in automotive and other various laser marking with cars.
Laser marking in the electric vehicle industry
Curious how laser markers are used with electric vehicles? KEYENCE introduces specific laser markings for the EV industry and other various laser marking with batteries and ECUs.
Laser marking in the semiconductor industry
Learn about the various ways laser marking has improved electronic components. KEYENCE will also explain electronic parts demand accurate marks with damage-free results.
Laser marking in the medical industry
Curious how laser markers are used in the medical industry, especially with medical device laser marking? KEYENCE introduces specific laser markings for the medical industry and other medical instruments.
Laser marking in the food / pharmaceutical industry
How are laser markers being used in the food and pharmaceutical industries? This section on laser engravers introduces industry-specific applications to help in developing new manufacturing processes.
Laser marking on metal
This section introduces metal laser marking using illustrations and applications for creating dark metal laser markings, white metal laser markings, deep laser engravings, and metal laser processing.
Laser marking on plastic
This section introduces plastic laser marking using illustrations and applications for creating dark markings on plastic, white markings on plastic, transparent markings on plastic, and plastic laser processing.
Laser marking on glass
This section introduces glass laser marking using illustrations and applications for creating white laser markings on glass, transparent laser markings on glass, and shallow laser engraving on glass.
Laser marking on ceramic
This section introduces ceramic laser marking using illustrations and applications for creating dark laser markings on zirconia and alumina based ceramic materials.
Laser marking on wood
This section introduces wood laser marking using illustrations and applications for creating high quality laser markings on wood and cardboard materials.
Laser marking on rubber
This section introduces rubber laser marking using illustrations and applications for creating high quality laser markings on a variety of different coloured rubber materials.
Frequently Asked Questions About Laser Marking Systems / Laser Markers
Laser markers work by scanning a focused beam of high-energy light across the surface of a part in the desired pattern. Different contrast, depths, and surface finishes can be achieved depending on the laser wavelength and part material.
Laser marking causes discoloration on the surface of a part, whereas laser engraving actually removes material and "digs in" to a part.
Practically speaking: no. Laser etchers interact directly with the surface of a part, so the only real way to remove a laser mark is to remove the material it's on.
With a variety of different models and wavelengths, KEYENCE laser markers can mark a wide range of materials. These include materials such as metal, plastic, glass, ceramic, wood, and rubber. There are even more materials than listed that can be marked but some have been shown to emit harmful gases. In this event, proper guarding and fume extraction should be used to provide a safe operating environment.
When choosing the correct laser marking system for your business many factors should be taken into consideration. Throughout this process, you should evaluate all laser marking models to determine the proper wavelength, wattage, marking field of view, and safety requirements. Below are the main factors:
・Materials – this will narrow down laser marking models by wavelength.
・Time allowed for marking – with marking time you can determine wattage.
・Marking Style/Setup – whether it is a large logo or a matrix of small text this will determine the marking field of view.
・Integration style – safety is always a priority so inline vs offline solutions will change the safety requirements.
With KEYENCE having a large range of wavelength options to choose from, most materials have the ability when properly tested to be marked or etched. Some that do not properly absorb laser light or produce toxic fumes include Delrin, PVC, Glue Backing, and Foam.
In comparison to a conventional IR laser marking system, a UV laser marking system has a much shorter wavelength, typically 355nm, which gives it many advantages when marking specific materials and applications. UV light is the best option for laser marking objects made of heat-sensitive materials, such as plastics or resins. With the lower wavelength, you receive a higher absorption rate allowing for contrast marking on a wider range of materials as well.
When deep engraving with a laser marking system, any depth can be achieved depending on how much time is required to complete the mark. Depending on the material and level of depth laser marking may not be the most efficient solution.
Laser Marker Applications
Laser marking is a marking method that uses a focused laser beam to alter the surface of a target. This section introduces how laser marking is performed with different materials as well as the different types of laser marking machines and how they are used.
Laser Engraving is the main laser process used to produce markings onto parts and products. Using a Laser engraving machine, permanent markings can be engraved onto most materials.
Learn about laser etching machines, the materials used and types of laser etching KEYENCE provides to help improve processes.
Learn about laser cutting—the process that uses laser light to cut a target—through various examples and different ways to use a laser cutting machine.
Laser paint removal
Laser paint removal is a process that uses a laser to peel paint from a target, and surface peeling. The process that peels the film or plating from a target—through various examples.
Learn how laser drilling can be used to drill holes by irradiating the laser light on a single point. Learn everything you need to know about drilling with a laser.
This page includes examples of successful processing improvements made possible by replacing labelers with laser markers (such as for substrate history management labels and vehicle nameplates).
Annealing is a laser marking process that uses a shifting defocused laser beam to create an oxide film on a surface. The oxide film appears as a black mark on metals like titanium, stainless steel, and iron alloys. Hybrid and fibre lasers are the optimal tools for this type of mark.
White engraving is produced by applying a focused beam to the surface of a material to generate enough heat to cause the material to melt. This very quick melting and solidifying of the material causes light to interact with it differently, resulting in a white appearance.
Laser Marking Types
There are five types of laser markers that KEYENCE offers, and each is distinguished by wavelength and marking power. Understanding the identifiers and strengths of each will assist you in choosing the machine for your project.
UV lasers are known for their high absorption rate allowing for the process of “cold marking.” Cold marking refers to the ability to mark contrast without relying on the thermal process that Fibre lasers rely on. This is possible because the shorter wavelength of UV lasers generates higher absorption on almost all materials. A UV laser marker is ideal for highly reflective materials like copper, gold, and silver, as well as other materials like glass, plastic, and rubber.
Fibre lasers are identified by their high output power, quick marking speed, and long service life. These laser markers are versatile with materials and marking abilities. Fbre lasers can engrave, anneal, mark, etch, cut, and remove burr on metal, plastic, and ceramics. These lasers are best used on metals.
Hybrid laser markers combine the high quality and depth of focus from a YVO₄ laser with the long service life and high output of fibre lasers. This allows Hybrid lasers to generate more contrast and mark a wider range of materials than Fibre lasers.
CO2 lasers are distinguishable as they are gas lasers that use heat to mark materials. These lasers are not ideal for metals but do well on organic materials like paper, plastic, glass, and ceramic.
Green lasers excel at marking at a micron level because of the short wavelength. This is great for micro processing and for microscopic 2D codes, utilised often in the semiconductor industry.