Four reasons why you should optimize your laser marking application with integrated vision
Laser marking provides an efficient way to put durable, high-resolution text and symbols on parts and finished assemblies. It works well on metals (for both deep and shallow engraving), ceramics, PCB substrates and plastics, as well as for fine processing. Manufacturers across all industries, from automotive to electronics, employ laser marking for traceability purposes.
One of the challenges that can arise with this marking strategy is the need for precise placement of the target object relative to the laser’s position. Fortunately, these difficulties can be mitigated by taking advantage of a laser marking system that has integrated vision. Let’s take a look at three of the most important benefits of a system like Omron’s MX-Z2000H Series.
1. You won’t need to worry so much about having a tight tolerance on your fixtures.
Without integrated vision, you’d need to make sure that your fixtures prevented parts from shifting their position relative to the position of the laser marker. This poses a major challenge for flexible systems. For instance, if you’re producing 100 different parts and each one needs laser marking, you’d need to create a mechanical design that positions each part exactly right.
The flexibility afforded by integrated vision means that you don’t need to spend time and money making 100 different fixtures. Instead, you can just build one fixture that keeps each part within the laser’s bounds. Since the vision system can locate the exact position where the mark should be applied, there’s no need for an extremely tight fixture tolerance.
2. The system will help compensate for human error.
A less experienced operator might not understand the importance of exact placement when it comes to laser marking. Integrated vision can prevent human error from causing products to be wasted by helping to locate and mark each part correctly regardless of orientation.
Omron’s Direct Finder Link solution adjusts where the laser shoots its beam based upon what the camera sees. Also, since the MX-Z2000H system provides direct connectivity between the vision system and the laser marker, there’s no need for a PLC to do the linking. This simplifies implementation and reduces the overall cycle time.
3. You’ll be able to successfully mark a much greater variety of part geometries.
The MX-Z2000H Series with Direct Finder Link also enables high-precision z-axis flexibility within a certain bandwidth, allowing it to provide clean marking for a variety of 3D surfaces. You can easily mark stepped, sloped, curved, conical and spherical surfaces – both convex and concave – without needing to use any additional software.
With a broader range of markable geometries, Omron’s solution helps maximize your options for ensuring the long-term traceability of challenging items, such as today’s Universal Device Identification (UDI) requirements for ultra-slim surgical instruments.
4. You’ll get marking and verification done in one fell swoop.
The traditional marking process involves three steps: precisely orienting the part, marking it, and subsequently inspecting the quality of the code produced. This sequence of steps requires multiple devices, and the costs and labor required for implementation and execution tend to be quite high.
With Omron’s MX-Z2000H Series solution, all processes are consolidated in one single step. The built-in image processing algorithms perform optical character verification (OCV) and other verification tasks to confirm that the mark is within the desired quality tolerance. The operator can immediately adjust the laser’s settings to improve marking quality and minimize no-reads down the line.
Interested in learning more about our direct part marking solutions? Visit our laser marking product page here.