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Why Laser Engraving is Used for Firearms

Posted on: July 14th, 2021 by BiznetDigital No Comments

Manufacturing firearms that are safe to use requires precision and integrity. One way that the firearms industry has adapted to facilitate safety is by requiring strict engraving and marking protocols on weapons. Since traceability is another priority in the firearm industry, it’s particularly important that manufacturers find a marking process that’s precise and easy to repeat. Laser engraving is commonly used to support this mission, making it the number one choice for firearm traceability. And the following paragraphs discuss why laser engraving is used for firearms. 

The ATF Requires Specific Engraving Parameters

Since the Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has specific parameters that must be followed during firearm production, it’s important to find a marking method that easily follows those parameters. Using laser marking systems is a precise way to adhere to those restrictions because of its versatility and consistency. 

Firearm parameters are designed to keep the integrity of each firearm intact, making it safe to operate. And following these parameters involves staying within a certain range of height and depth, which is easily attainable with a laser.

According to the ATF, firearms must be identified by: “engraving, casting, stamping (impressing), or otherwise conspicuously placing or causing to be engraved, cast, stamped (impressed) or placed on the frame or receiver thereof an individual serial number. The serial number must be placed in a manner not susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered, or removed, and must not duplicate any serial number placed by you on any other firearm. For firearms manufactured, imported, or made on and after January 30, 2002, the engraving, casting, or stamping (impressing) of the serial number must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch and in a print size no smaller than 1/16 inch.” Which is a goal that’s best achieved with the user of a laser.

Adhering to Standard Firearm Parameters

According to the ATF: “We believe that these minimum standards are necessary to ensure that firearms are properly identified in accordance with the law. In addition, the final regulations will facilitate our ability to trace firearms used in crime.”

Firearms require the creation of a serial number in order to create part traceability. If crimes occur or illegal weapon trading takes place, the serial numbers help officials to trace the origins of the weapon. Since laser engraving creates long-lasting graphics, it’s the ideal pick for firearms manufacturing.

Providing Detailed Production Information

ATF also requires information like the manufacturer, location where the firearm is made, the model, caliber, and serial number to be easily accessible on each weapon. While it is possible to mark weapons with stamping or casting processes, engraving delivers high-contrast marks that are more likely to last a lifetime than stamped alternatives. 

Laser engraving is commonly used in many different types of products in the firearm industry. During the firearm engraving process, manufacturers commonly engrave accessories, rails, suppressors, barrels, and more. 

You can also brand, trace, and decorate weapons, which makes it a great candidate for firearm production. It’s an extremely precise process, which makes it a good candidate for applications that require strict parameters. But what also sets this process apart from others is its ability to maintain material integrity after the material has been marked, which is essential when it comes to weapons. 

Here at Laser Marking Technologies, clients can meet with experts to fulfill their production needs. Get in touch with us today to ensure that your weapon engraving needs are met and capable of meeting rigid manufacturing requirements.

Why You Might Use Full Color Laser Engraving

Posted on: July 14th, 2021 by BiznetDigital No Comments

Using full color laser engraving gives you the ability to create contrast in a material to produce a legible mark. Some of the reasons why you might use full color laser engraving include its versatility, and vibrancy. But full color laser engraving also gives manufacturers the ability to mark a product in a long-lasting and eye-catching way. If, for example, you need to create a logo for a brand on a part, full color laser engraving gives you the perfect solution. But how does it work, and why would you use full color laser engraving, anyways?

The Full Color Laser Engraving Process

During the full color laser engraving process, the manufacturer removes material from the surface of a product, and creates an oxide layer, which changes the hue of a mark. This results in words or an image that are darker or lighter than the original material color. With variable pulse lengths, frequencies, and energy, manufacturers can yield a variety of marking results. 

Additionally, in some cases, pigment can also be melted into the engraving, allowing manufacturers to achieve a higher contrast level than traditional marking. Materials that can be used in the color laser engraving field include plastic, metal, and even rubber. 

Color laser engraving may involve the use of a Master Oscillator Power Amplifier (MOPA) fiber laser to achieve the desired results. The master oscillator is the part of the laser system that creates the beam, while the power amplifier increases the laser output. Using these devices gives manufacturer’s control over laser variability, which can be useful while creating complicated designs.

Why Full Color Laser Engraving is Popular

Color sells. Traditional color marking can help manufacturers to produce varying color tones, which catches the eye and pulls potential buyers towards a product. Full color laser engraving provides a cost-effective and efficient way to produce these eye-catching results. And adding a splash of color can make a tremendous difference in your application. 

Applications that are commonly found in color laser engraving settings include:

  • Personalized products
  • Graphic-focused applications
  • Cellphones and electronics
  • Firearms and knives

Full color laser engraving is a terrific option for manufacturers that need to add graphics, images, and marks to a material. Not only does this process permit you to achieve the aforementioned results, it also greatly enhances the presentation of your product. This process may be ornamental, or functional.

Here at Laser Marking Technologies, clients can meet with experts to fulfill their production needs. Get in touch with us today to explore processes like laser ablation, marking, engraving and etching, annealing, and full color laser engraving.

Benefits of High-Precision Laser Welding Systems

Posted on: July 14th, 2021 by BiznetDigital No Comments

High-precision laser welding systems are commonly used in industrial applications because of their ability to produce quality results at high-speeds. Regulatory compliance is more easily achieved with the help of a high-precision laser welding system because they give users control over parameters and heat input. Because of high-precision laser welding systems’ efficiency and dependable results, this process is commonly used in military and automotive applications. While the reasons for using a laser welding system may vary, some of the benefits of high-precision laser welding systems include: their ability to weld small parts where dimensions are particularly tight, and targeting strict parameters.

How High-Precision Laser Welding Systems Work

Lasers use the power of a concentrated beam to heat and join materials together. While some welding options are prone to distorting the original material, high-precision laser welding systems are easier to operate within specific parameters, making it less likely that you’ll create the same type of distortion. 

High-precision laser welding systems are commonly found in the automotive industry. Welding components like roofs, doors, and filters together can be done faster with a laser welding system, which saves brands money over the long-term. 

Benefits of Using a High-Precision Laser Welding System

Every company has different requirements when it comes to welding. And it’s a process that is used in industries like aerospace, automotive, and construction industries. But high-precision laser welding allows manufacturers to execute a higher level of care because of its focused parameters. Some of the general benefits of using a high-precision laser welding system include:

  • Their ability to work on a very small surface area. 
  • Their ability to handle variability
  • Can be used for medial manufacturing

They’re also reliable, they have a narrow weld profile, they help you to achieve minimal part distortion, and their processes can be repeated with ease. 

High-precision laser welding systems can commonly be found in applications that require the fabrication of sheet metal, and in the automotive and aircraft industry. While operating high-precision laser welding systems, it’s possible to complete tasks like the joining of small metals, which results in strong applications. Laser welding also gives you tremendous accuracy and control. While other forms of welding will get the job done, they’re often less consistent and somewhat difficult to recreate. Because of this, high-precision laser welding systems are ideal for applications that require consistency and efficiency. Over the course of time, these systems save companies time, effort, and money. 

Here at Laser Marking Technologies, clients have access to a full range of laser types. Get in touch with us today to explore high-precision laser welding systems if you’re hoping to find a way to operate within strict welding parameters. 

Using Laser Rust Removal to Bring Car Parts Back to Life

Posted on: July 14th, 2021 by BiznetDigital No Comments

Laser rust removal is a process that can be used to clean unwanted residue from metal parts with less risk than other methods. When conducted successfully, the laser ablation process is used to remove a layer of rust or other contaminants without damaging the substrate material. And this is commonly done with a fiber laser system. Not only does laser rust removal improve the appearance of an item, it also extends its life, which allows manufacturers to build a more reliable product. Because of this, using laser rust removal to bring car parts back to life is a terrific strategy that allows entrepreneurs to operate sustainable businesses for a fraction of the cost. 

The Laser Rust Removal Process

During the laser rust removal process, laser pulses are applied on the surface of a material to expel contaminants, leaving the substrate material clean and free of damage. Every material has an ablation threshold, which means that it has a heat at which chemical bonds are broken. When this is applied to cleaning or rust removal, laser operators essentially use vaporization to remove unwanted residue from a material’s surface.

While using a laser to clean or remove a certain compound from a material, it is possible to selectively target one material, leaving the second surface undamaged. Using a strong and weaker power burst can help you to remove rust even faster.

How Laser Rust Removal Compares to Competitive Processes

While many classic car restoration projects require a wired brush and a grinding wheel to remove unwanted rust and paint, using a laser rust removal system can provide an effective alternative. Not only does laser rust removal cut down on the manual labor that’s associated with removing rust, it also keeps more of the part intact than a wire and/or grinding wheel. And it even reduces the amount of time that’s required to complete each part, which makes it a good process for industrial applications. 

Rust removal can also be achieved by the application of chemical components or electricity. But laser rust removal stands out in its ability to accomplish each task quickly, and with minimal distortion.

Benefits of Using the Laser Rust Removal Process

Using lasers to remove rust from a material is beneficial for a number of reasons: It’s a green technology, which means that it requires fewer consumables, and it doesn’t use harmful chemicals. The laser systems, themselves, require less maintenance, which makes them built for longevity. And, finally, laser rust removal systems are much safer than competitive rust removal processes when they’re paired with a dust extraction system, because those who are operating the laser don’t have to touch any substances or chemicals on their product. 

Here at Laser Marking Technologies, clients have access to a full range of laser types and functions. Get in touch with us today to explore the laser rust removal process if you’re hoping to find a sustainable and effective way to restore old parts.

Using Laser Marking Devices to Create Barcodes

Posted on: July 14th, 2021 by BiznetDigital No Comments

Do you have a lot of parts that you need to be able to monitor? Are you worried about knock-off products that are floating around the industry? Are you hoping to find a way to protect yourself from part poachers? Any time industrial manufacturers are creating products, it’s a good idea to create a tracking system with the,. Creating barcodes offers a terrific solution to alleviate worries that might be associated with part manufacturing. And using laser marking devices to create barcodes is one reliable option to achieve that goal. 

Why We Used Barcodes

Barcodes are created for products that range from soda cans to electronics. Although they’re not legally required unless you’re selling products in mass or to large retailers, creating a system that tracks a product’s information protects manufacturers from liabilities. So, for example, if a can of soda causes a mysterious illness, and the person who got sick wants to hold the soda company accountable for the damages, a barcode on the soda can provide the manufacturer with detailed information about the product. 

Barcodes exist to capture information about a part’s properties like batch numbers, production data, and more. One reason why laser marked barcodes are created is because they’re much more durable than alternative options.

Why We Use Laser Marking for Barcodes

Laser marking devices are capable of tagging a variety of products with barcodes in order to capture in-depth information that can be addressed at a later time. But they also offer users a way to deliver permanent marks in a quick and clear way. While there are many other ways to mark a product, laser marking offers a no-contact method that’s built to last. With the help of a laser, manufacturers can deliver a contrast on the surface of a material, which can result in a  barcode. Even after years of wear, many laser marked barcodes maintain their integrity, providing lasting information to those who require it. 

Products that are commonly exposed to harsh environments can benefit from laser marked barcodes because of their ability to withstand those conditions. Applications that might require laser marked barcodes include medical, electronic, automotive, petroleum, and aerospace-based applications. Using laser marking technology for barcodes is also a good strategy because it’s extremely versatile, it’s cost effective and time efficient, and it creates high-quality results. Many parts can be marked with a code that will withstand intense conditions and many years of use with the help of a laser marking system. 

Here at Laser Marking Technologies, clients have access to a full range of laser types and functions. Get in touch with us today to discuss your traceability and barcode requirements.

How Laser Ablation Stands Out from Other Types of Ablation

Posted on: July 14th, 2021 by BiznetDigital No Comments

Ablation is a process that removes material from the surface of a product. This can be done with the help of chemicals, electricity, and even lasers. The process of ablation is particularly useful for industrial applications with tough-to-achieve parameters. For example, the ablation process is used to create heat shields in spacecraft and satellites. Learning how laser ablation stands out from other types of ablation can help manufacturers to determine whether or not it’s the right choice for a particular application. 

How Laser Ablation Works

Laser ablation irradiates material in order to remove it, ultimately causing targeted vaporization. Manufacturers can adjust the pulse length, intensity of the laser, and the wavelength in order to remove varying amounts of material. 

How Laser Ablation Stands Out from Other Types of Ablation

Laser ablation excels in the production industry when it comes to precision, and versatility. Not only can it be used on metal products, it can also be used on glass, and ceramics. Industrial applications in the automotive and aerospace industry commonly make use of the laser ablation process because of its ability to deliver bulletproof results. 

Other types of ablation include chipping and erosive processes, biological ablation, electro-ablation, and mechanochemical ablation. Ablation processes that require chipping and erosion are more prone to distorting materials than laser ablation. Biological ablation is a process that removes biological material, like in the medical industry. Electro-ablation is a process that removes material from metal to decrease roughness, allowing for surface finishing. Finally, mechanochemical ablation uses mechanical endothelial damage and a sclerosant for ablation.  

Instead of using harmful chemicals and erratic ablation methods, laser ablation allows a greater range of control for those who execute the process. Additional laser ablation benefits include minimal heat transfer, long-term cost, and it’s even a green alternative because it doesn’t require the use of toxic chemicals.

Laser Ablation Uses

When it comes to manufacturing, laser ablation delivers a reliable product with the ideal finish. Rather than worrying about surface roughness, manufacturers know that the laser ablation process is more likely to render a smooth and complete surface.  Laser ablation can also be used to drill extremely small holes, to produce films, and even to control a material in a micro-fashion, honing in on tiny details. Laser ablation is commonly performed with either a continuous wave laser or a pulsed laser beam. And the results are permanent.

Here at Laser Marking Technologies, clients have access to a full range of laser types and functions. Get in touch with us today to explore laser ablation methods that deliver the perfect finish.

Using Automated Laser Marking Systems to Reduce Costs

Posted on: July 14th, 2021 by BiznetDigital No Comments

Using automated laser marking systems to reduce costs is one of the best ways to support company growth for a number of reasons; It allows manufacturers to reduce labor, it creates faster marking systems, and it is a more sustainable practice than other marking systems because it involves fewer consumables. But the benefits of automated laser marking systems don’t end here.

Automated Laser Marking Decreases Human Error

Instead of relying on custom engineering for each laser marking process, manufacturers can depend on software to produce consistent and speedy results. But this strategy is especially cost-saving when it comes to producing consistent results. When laser marking is turned into an automated process, manufacturers can expect a program that substantially reduces human error. Automated laser marking systems also allow you to produce a well-executed mark every time.

While manufacturers increase marking accuracy, they also reduce the likelihood of encountering warranty claims, returns, and recalls down the line. Recalls also slow the progress and innovation of a brand, making them less competitive in the market, directly impacting the success of a company.  Since recalls and warranty claims account for one of the most substantial parts of company losses, finding ways to mitigate them is pivotal to company success.

Automated Laser Marking Delivers Long-Term Results

Although the initial automation process requires an up-front investment, it quickly pays for itself due to its ability to reduce overhead costs. For example, ink marking might cost $0.07-$0.09 per mark, while laser marking often looks more like $0.02 per mark in large scale operations. Over the course of time, this margin adds up, costing businesses a substantial amount of money. Whether you’re new to the laser marking industry or you’re a veteran, staying up-to-date with the latest laser marking systems can allow you to determine whether or not you’d be a good candidate for automation.

Are Automated Laser Marking Systems Best For You?

Determining whether or not an automated laser marking system is the right option for you can hinge on a number of factors. Among those factors are application type, quantity, and variability. If your brand is working to produce bulk parks, an automated laser marking system is guaranteed to shave off time from the manufacturing process. But a brand that just needs a single batch of marked items may not need to automate the process. Additionally, the medical industry has such specific marking parameters that it can be difficult to adhere to the industry standards without taking great care to keep the marking process consistent. Automation can help to achieve that consistency. It can also be developed with lasers of varying intensities, depending on your needs.

Here at Laser Marking Technologies, clients have access to a full range of laser types and styles. Get in touch with us today to explore automating those lasers to create long-term savings.

Don’t Buy That Cheap Laser Etching Machine from Amazon

Posted on: August 19th, 2020 by BiznetDigital No Comments

Though laser etching systems have decreased in cost, the price tag can still be a bit daunting. On average, a laser etching system can cost anywhere between $3,000 – $15,000. And once you add customized components, you could be looking at as much as $65,000. That inexpensive laser on Amazon is looking pretty good, right?

Wrong. Here’s why.

Poor Quality

Though (seemingly) cheaper, most laser marking machines from Amazon are low quality. Often, they’re imported from foreign factories where exploited laborers build them from cheap plastic materials. To save on costs, they use weaker lasers, with fiber coupling that degrade over time, causing power loss and premature failure in the fiber core. This, combined with “knock-off” design software means you’ll likely have a difficult time getting your designs to work. 

Weak Lasers = Bad Engraving

People who have purchased these lasers complain they don’t perform as advertised. Though the company may say their product can cut/engrave to a depth of over .040” on any metal, this doesn’t apply to EVERY material and may take exceedingly long to accomplish depths of even .07”. Inferior lasers will struggle marking harder surfaces than softer surfaces of the same thickness, and have particular difficulty producing the desired smoothness or texture. 

Laser power matters for high-quality marks. Companies usually advertise the wattage of their lasers with figures ranging between 20W-100W. However, some sneaky companies might advertise “1800mW” – a detail that’s easy to miss.

No Maintenance or Customer Support

As previously mentioned, these laser systems come equipped with knockoff software. But that’s like designing with a pen and paper when you really need CAD. Or photo retouching in 

Microsoft Paint instead of Photoshop. You’ll be hard-pressed to import any existing designs into that software. And if there’s something you can’t figure out, there’s no one to call and speak to. 

But overall, these systems come without any support. Because they are made with cheaply-sourced parts, they break constantly. And, unless you’re a skilled technician, you will never figure out what broke or how to fix it. You’ll be paying for repairs again and again. Additionally, manufacturers typically offer very limited warranties – you’ll be lucky if you can get in touch with anyone to order replacement parts. 

Deciding whether you should buy a cheap laser marking machine is the decision between cost and quality. Quality is always a cost-saving measure, even if the ROI takes a bit longer. 

Remember, “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” (Benjamin Franklin).

At Laser Marking Technologies, we build quality laser marking systems for part manufacturers and businesses in the USA. We offer 24/7 maintenance support to our clients, so if something malfunctions, we’re there. If you would like to learn more about how lasers can work for you, please give us call. We’re happy to help in any way we can.

Insights | Laser Marking Technologies