Case Study Black and White Marking of Complex Metallic Surfaces
Metal component manufacturers apply direct markings to their products for a variety of reasons: Beyond legal regulations, there is also the need to permanently mark parts with excellent legibility to ensure reliable traceability. In addition, direct part marking is used to support the internal requirements that factory automation* involves. The challenge of laser marking metal components: The complex structures of the surface – such as castings in the automotive sector – may complicate the readability of the applied codes due to poor contrast. FOBA took on the subject and developed a solution.
Code Marking for Factory Automation
In highly automated production lines, products are often labeled with laser marked codes containing information, that when scanned by handling robots, provide them with the next production steps. Here laser marking is used to identify parts and to align them into the continuing production process.
In the automotive sector, most metal components are found in non-visible areas. Surface finish and appearance take a back seat to functionality. Rough surfaces with contours or changing dark shades of the material are the rule – but these are not the best conditions for a perfect machine-readable mark. Due to legal requirements, for purposes of traceability, or to optimize internal, automated production processes* most of these cast or compressed sheet metal parts are labeled with clear, machine-readable codes.
A typical case is an easy to read 2D code with a serial number used for the exact allocation and traceability of a component. The black content of the code and the characters are hard to read because, depending on the lighting conditions, the surface structure can cause shadows and therefore deteriorates the contrast for scanners.
You would like to learn how ultra high contrast marking helps you to create perfectly readable codes on complex surface structures?
You can download the complete application case study here.