Customer requirement was to mark ID matrix codes onto stainless steel plates used in the production of fuel cells. The purpose of the code was to provide internal tracking of test data within the manufacturing process control.
The Lightwriter chassis was chosen as the most suitable to house the required tools needed to process the parts. The chamber would house the various handling and monitoring devices utilised to process the plates through the marking application.
High powered magnets were used to force the plates apart due to potential ringing of the parts together. A pick and place module would then pick each individual plate from its stack, turn it through 180 degrees, presenting it to the laser mark position. The pickup was controlled by vacuum suckers attached to four corners on the unit.
The process involved placing a matrix code along with the relevant human readable information in situe on the plate. The laser being run at a very high pulse rate produced a black mark to the surface without introducing any material distortion. Once the process was completed the part was presented to a matrix reader where the code was verified and logged. If the reader and code were good, the part was stacked to the output bin. If a failure occurred, then the part was sent to a reject bin. At the start of the process run, the supervisor is able to select an acceptable failure rate figure. If the system failed to this limit then the machine would stop and the operator would be notified and asked to reset as required, or place the system into engineering mode.
The system was installed in 2012 as a Class 1 laser product. It includes process chamber extraction provision, along with viewing windows for process observation. The system continues to run production at the site today.
If you would like further information on this laser application, or any other application, please request a call back or talk to one of our laser marking specialists on 01737 826902.