The purpose of the exercise was to demonstrate the flexibility lasers provide and confirm the wide range of potential materials that lasers can process every day. While the example may suggest a little over kill as a marking application, eggs have been processed in a production environment previously.
CO2 TEA lasers have been used, for high speed production lines placing date codes on each egg rather than just on the box.
Because the laser beam is focused, movement away from the focal point causes two issues. The first is energy density changes and the second is spot size change. Both of these are directly linked to each other. In order to ensure that neither of these effect the mark quality, two things have to be part of the set up. The image must remain within a 20 -25 degree segment on the diameter, and the focal position must be set half way between the higher and lower point of the image. Sounds complex, but it is rather straight forward. Staying within the segment mentioned, ensures no character deformation happens, due to the curved surface.
In this example, we have used a flash lamped YAG laser, but today’s fibre technology could also be used.
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