Awards & Engraving

January '17

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20 • A&E JANUARY 2017 LASER ENGRAVING APPLICATIONS did, but it didn't work." Apparently, they were using CerMark on the cylinders and the laser marked graphics were easily wiping off with a rag. Any laser engraver knows that CerMark is an excellent product for most metals—this problem could be a result of operator error, incor- rect laser settings, improper application of CerMark, laser focal issues, or even an un-clean surface. The client expressed that they did not want to attempt engraving these cylinders once again using their own laser. The client realized that a fair amount of time was required to dis-assemble the parts, apply the CerMark, laser mark, and then reassemble. They were hoping to have these cylinders completed the next day, which I felt comfortable with for two rea- sons. First, we would not be using a rotary attachment, which would slow down the production. Second, we would be using our galvo head Nd:YAG laser instead, which would provide speed and some depth to the engraving. THE PROJECT The laser marking stage was rather simple, but it was the behind-the-scenes logistics that were going to make or break it. Each box contained 10 cylinders with a consecutive sequence, but within each box the parts were mixed. We thought we could unpack all the boxes and lay out all 400 parts from the smallest to the largest serial number. This was a valid option, but it would take a fair amount of space to accommodate this. Another option was to laser mark each cylinder and reset the laser for each part. While this method would be functional, it would drastically slow down the produc- tion process. Thus, we decided to come up with a better solution to expedite the completion of this task. The commonality of each part was that all the parts contained CX-8 followed by a four-digit serial number. We were able to set up a program using ProLase soft- ware, which automatically prompted the laser operator to simply enter the start of that four-digit serial number sequence. After pressing Enter, the laser would con- sequently laser mark 10 parts with an increment of one. The laser would also laser mark CX-8 before the four-digit The pre-engraved cylinders are placed in their respective zone to help improve efficiency.

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