5/19/2011 | 3 MINUTE READ

Laser Workstation for High-Precision Markings and Engravings

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Marking can play a key role in tracking and traceability of parts in both the production process and in customer applications. While a number of different marking methods are used, like any other operation, the focus often needs to be not only on efficiency and effectiveness, but also on precision.

The FOBA G3 laser workstation for material processing, available from Alltec GmbH, is a part of FOBA’s line of laser engraving machines, bridging the gap to the company’s offering of all-laser marking machines. The G3 workstation is designed for precise, deep engravings as well as for brilliant laser markings in small and premium parts. It is especially suited for varied laser marking and engraving applications in the medical technology industry and fine engraving sector as well as for numerous applications in the metal, tool and mold production. The two-in-one laser marking and engraving machine applies 2D/3D engravings on 3D surfaces and marks medical instruments, equipment and implants as well as luxury goods such as premium watches and jewelry.

Vision Alignment for Precision and Repeatability 

With powerful solid state lasers, the IMP (intelligent mark positioning) automatic vision system and the point and shoot manual vision system ensure short processing times and high precision. The G3 is particularly effective when absolute marking and reproduction accuracy are demanded—from the marking of small plastic and metal parts to the engraving of filigree 2D/3D textures and patterns on 3D surfaces. The IMP camera system automatically detects workpieces and their positioning and adjusts the marking/engraving accordingly. With point and shoot marking, contents are positioned manually, directly on a screen image of the product. Both imaging systems allow for upfront verification of what the mark will look like and where it will be. In addition, IMP and point and shoot assist in reducing scrap, mismarked parts and damage to expensive fixtures and eliminating time consuming trial-and-error processes.

Compact, Convenient

With a width of 80 cm, a height of 1.90 m and a footprint of 1.4 m × 1.4 m, FOBA G3 fits through standard doors. The compact design allows the workstation to be easily integrated into any lab environment. The machine frame is designed for stability, and alignable and repeatable axes ensure consistent machine operation, accurate markings and exact documentation over an extended period of time. The workstation is designed to allow work either while standing or sitting to accommodate the individual user‘s needs. The input table (with monitor and keyboard) is vertically adjustable, and the monitor can be swiveled. All axes can be set with the standard hand wheel so that the workstation can be set up either manually or fully automatically. FOBA EMC and FOBA MarkUSTM, the user interfaces for engraving and marking, create user-friendly and flexible programming environments with program traceability.

Keeping Green

According to Uwe Plath, FOBA production manager for integrated solutions, the efficient operation of the laser workstation is matched with an eco-friendly design. “The G3 station’s technical plan is innovative and meets all ergonomic requirements. The system is completely optimized with regard to its energy footprint and can be used for a range of applications. The system is completely air-cooled, requiring little maintenance for otherwise expensive and space-consuming water cooling,” he says.

Modular Concept

The modular design of the G3 laser workstation allows customization to fit the requirements of each customer’s application. A variety of options is available to be used in the Class 1 enclosure, including FOBA’s range of fiber laser markers (DP20F, DP30F, DP50F) and grayscale laser markers (DP10GS [Vanadate], DP30FGS). Customers can choose between the X/Y cross table version, with 300-mm travel of the X, Y and Z axes, or the 630-mm rotary table version, with 200-mm bulkhead. The user interfaces are available in English and German, and the MarkUSTM suite is also available in Chinese, Japanese, French, Spanish and Italian.

The laser marking software is included in the standard delivery of the single-phase machine. FOBA EMC—software for 3D laser engravings—is available as an option. The unit can be extended to as much as five axes with a swivel axis and a rotary unit to adapt to the respective laser marking/engraving application.