Why Use Laser Marking and Engraving on Your Metal Parts?

Posted by Able Electropolishing on September 17, 2014

Laser marking can be used to engrave designs, labels, textures and, most commonly, identification markings into metal parts. This process is utilized by a variety of industries for simple product identification, improved product traceability and safety, organizational purposes, and much more. Learn more about the laser marking process and how can be advantageous for your metal parts.

 

What is Laser Marking and Engraving?
The laser marking process can be used to engrave numbers, lettering, barcodes and other identifiers into parts of both common and specialty metal alloys, including stainless steel, aluminum, titanium and Nitinol. Plastics may also undergo laser marking treatments. As you look for a laser marking company, search for one that offers 100 percent biocompatible processes that maintain the integrity of your parts’ functionality.

 

Laser Marking for the Medical Industry

The FDA passed a ruling in 2013 mandating that most medical devices, especially those being used multiple times and processed before use, must be marked with a unique device identifier, or UDI. Because laser marking allows for easier and more streamlined tracking of parts, medical institutions can ensure they are only using the appropriate parts for the given procedure. This is especially important in a case when an unfavorable situation occurs and traceability and accountability are crucial.

 

Benefits of Laser Marking Metal Parts

Laser marking is advantageous to companies for multiple applications, including:

  1. Enhanced traceability and reliability—Unmarked parts can get misplaced in the system, especially in complex hospital environments.
  2. Improved safety—Because laser marked metal parts are permanently marked with the appropriate identifiers, those using them will be able to safely identify the device they are using. This is especially important for medical facilities, where specific parts need to be used for patients’ procedures.
  3. Providing an economical way to identify parts—Labels can peel off or become damaged over time. Laser marking, however, provides permanent identification for parts and does not have to be performed multiple times.

 

Additional Metal Finishing Processes

In addition to laser marking, metal parts and devices can be electropolished and passivated. Examine the benefits of each process.

  1. Electropolishing—After electropolishing treatments, metal parts have enhanced corrosion resistance, improved microfinish value, ultraclean surfaces, deburred edges, uniform sizing and a decorative finish.
  2. Passivation—Passivation is utilized to remove surface impurities from metal parts. However, electropolishing is 30 times more effective at improving corrosion resistance than passivation and is generally the preferred metal finishing treatment. Some companies opt to have their parts submitted for both electropolishing and passivation treatments.

 

To learn more about the laser marking and other metal finishing processes, as well as the UDI mandates for the medical industry, contact Able Electropolishing today.