In todays industrial world many components need branding or marking their logos in their products. They also do mark their codes or serial number or user instructions on each product. The laser marking is the latest technology used for such thing. Metal, plastic, ceramic, semiconductor, glass, ceramic, wood etc can be marked by laser. Laser marking is flexible and permanent. As the parts can be directly marked labels can be avoided. Laser technology has provided a remarkable advantage to almost all the sectors of industry. Laser marked components are all around us. Car dashboard buttons and VIN plates, mobile phone pads, computer keyboards, cooker knobs, electricity meter fascias, medical implants, bathroom fittings and iPods as well as all manner of turned and machined components that make up assemblies for industrial use are some examples of laser marked products.
Laser engraving is the process of using laser to engrave or mark on objects. It is done by using machine which can emit laser beams. One main advantage of this technique is that it do not use any tool bits that makes a contact to the surface of the object being marked. Thus there is no wear and tear. In certain other marking techniques the bit head need to be replaced regularly. Also it does not damage the surface of the object. Laser marking helps to do marking on very small objects and also on hard to reach places. Laser beams are precise and repeatable. Laser beam width can be focussed to less than 30 microns and it can be repeatedly positioned to the same magnitude. This helps in the fine detailed marking on the smaller components and accurate removal of the coatings. The complex engraving process has now become simple and quick. Certain materials like polymer and novel metal alloys are especially laserable materials and the impact of laser engraving on these materials are remarkable. As a whole the process of laser engraving has considerable advantages over the traditional way of marking objects. It is time saving and ecofriendly. It does not cause any damage or deformation of the object being marked. It does not change the colour of the surface and the subsurface of the objects being marked. There is no toxic substance or any residue left over after the process. It requires no cleaning up process, no maintenance to save marking. It is permanent and not effected by chemical or water. Laser marking is thus a useful invention. It is costlier than the traditional method as it uses laser. But the advantages make it worth the cost.
Hot Stamping is a printing method in which a heated die and foil are used to apply graphics to a surface. It is an industrial marking process best known for the shiny metallic gold or silver marking on the products. It is also known as foil stamping, hot foil stamping, gold stamping, gold blocking, foiling and gold leaf. Holograms on the credit card, metallic or gold printings found on the cosmetic packages are examples of hot stamping. Papers, leather & vinyl, plastics of most kinds, textiles like satin, ribbon, nylon, polyester are examples of materials that can be hot stamped. In hot stamping a heated metallic die is pressed against a colored foil and then on the product to be printed. The raised surface of the die touches the foil and the product being stamped thus the foil graphics being printed on the product. Hot stamping is very economical but it is limited to flat surfaces.
Pad printing is a process of transferring a 2D image to a 3D object. This is done using an indirect offset printing process in which the image is transferred from the printing plate via a silicon pad on to the substrate or the surface to be printed. Surgical instruments, implantable and in body medical instruments like contact lenses, catheter tubes, golf ball logos or graphics, decorative designs, automotive parts, letter on computer keyboards and calculators, identification labels are some of the areas which uses the pad printing technology.