Laser Marking Machine Advantages

Over the last few decades, laser marking systems have become more and more popular throughout the manufacturing and packaging industries. Driven by a need for faster coding speeds and higher reliability, industrial line operators are increasingly turning to laser technologies to keep up with demanding deadlines. Today, experts estimate that the global laser market is worth around $2.76 billion, and many predict that this number will continue to grow into the foreseeable future.

These numbers demonstrate a more substantial market growth rate than we’ve seen in decades past. In the 1990s, 2000s, and even most of the 2010s, laser marking systems were generally considered too expensive for smaller companies to acquire. Only the most profitable food producers, beverage packaging companies, and automotive manufacturers could afford to invest in laser systems. 

Over time, however, laser systems have become less expensive and more accessible to companies of varying sizes and backgrounds. With this new level of accessibility, many businesses are considering switching from conventional coding technologies (e.g., continuous inkjet or thermal inkjet systems) to laser marking. 

If you’re thinking of upgrading to a laser marking system, keep reading to see the top three laser marking machine advantages, or click on the links below to learn about InkJet, Inc.’s:

Laser marking systems are ideal for facilities that require top-of-the-line coding speeds and 24/7 continuous operation. 

Beginning around the early 1990s, industrial packaging groups have prized laser systems for their ability to create stark, high-contrast markings at high speeds. Fiber and CO2 lasers in particular are popular in fields that require nonstop coding at fast rates. Such industries include:

  • Food canning
  • Beverage packaging 
  • Pharmaceutical development
  • Medical device manufacturing
  • Miscellaneous consumer good packaging

In these fields and others, laser marking systems enable line operators to meet demanding product quotas without sacrificing code quality. 

Depending on laser type and model, laser marking systems can produce up to 2,100 characters per second and operate on lines moving at 900 m/min. Moreover, laser marking systems require little maintenance and utilize minimal consumables, allowing operators to maximize periods of uptime.

Laser coding is about more than just speed. Fiber, CO2, and UV laser systems are all capable of creating high-quality, durable markings on a consistent basis. 

In a time of increasingly stringent traceability regulations and marking standards, it’s essential that product codes remain intact and clearly legible for the entire product lifecycle. For machine-scannable markings (e.g., QR codes, barcodes, UDI markings, etc.) this is especially important, as reduced legibility often results in unscannable codes. 

When it comes to code longevity, it is hard to beat laser systems. When laser machines are marking products and packaging, the applied heat changes the material’s surface. This process allows laser codes to both look sharp and remain readable even when exposed to harsh elements (e.g., physical movements, extreme temperatures, etc.). 

Of course, just as with printing, it’s important to use a laser system that is compatible with the materials that you are working with. Laser marking machines all have their own substrate specialties, so users must be careful when selecting a system that will meet their coding needs.

The chart below lists which materials fiber and CO2 lasers can generally print on, but remember, every laser model is different and will carry its own unique substrate compatibility. If you are interested in bringing a laser marking system into your operation, speak with an expert to ensure that the system is right for you. 

Fiber Laser-Compatible Materials

CO2 Laser-Compatible Materials

  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Nickel
  • Steel
  • Aseptic packaging
  • Rigid plastic
  • Flexible material
  • Glass 
  • Paper
  • Paperboard
  • Cardboard
  • Textiles
  • Rubber
  • Aseptic packaging
  • Rigid plastic
  • Flexible material
  • Glass

Although laser marking systems require larger upfront investments compared to continuous inkjet or thermal inkjet printers, they often make up for it with lower ongoing costs. 

Most obviously, laser systems do not require periodic fluid refills. For CIJ and TIJ users, replacement ink and makeup can be a major expense. Laser systems, on the other hand, only require the occasional filter change and tube replacements every few years. 

Laser system maintenance is also easier compared to industrial printer maintenance. For example, CIJ printers require annual maintenance as well as daily care. Laser systems are simpler to maintain and only require professional maintenance in extreme cases. 

Over time, the lack of consumables and minimal maintenance required by laser systems can translate to significant cost savings for industrial companies. 

Want To Learn More About Laser Marking Machine Advantages? Call InkJet, Inc. Today 

Laser marking systems are widely known for their fast coding speeds, high reliability, and low ongoing costs. With the right line setup, laser marking systems can help companies across the manufacturing/packaging spectrum maximize efficiency and improve the product. 

If you are thinking about integrating a laser marking system into your operation, InkJet, Inc. is here to help. Offering a variety of laser marking solutions as well as 30 years of industry experience, the InkJet, Inc. team can help you find the perfect hardware to meet your needs. Call today to learn more. 

To learn more about laser marking machine advantages, contact us online today or call 1(800) 280-3245