Original Date: 10/04/1993
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Laser Marking System
Hamilton Standard Electronic Manufacturing Center's (HSEMC’s) previous method of creating nameplates was a manual, expensive, unreliable, and time-consuming process. Therefore, a cross-functional team selected by HS selected a laser marking system to replace the old system. After the equipment was purchased, the team worked to develop the process in which the machine would be used. The team also changed documentation including specifications, blue prints, and manufacturing instructions. When these steps are completed, the machine can be implemented into production.
The laser machine takes data from a central database and creates a nameplate from a variety of materials that can then be easily attached to the product. It can mark on steel by either a surface anneal marking or a laser etch. It can also mark on aluminum by paint or anodizing removal. However, the most common method of creating nameplates is the use of a two layer acrylic. Two layers of acrylate film of different colors are bonded together and the laser uses ablation to remove the top coating to reveal the color underneath. The labels have an adhesive back and are resistant to solvents, abrasion, and tampering. The material from which these labels are constructed is available in sheets, rolls, and ready cut forms. The labels can also be cut to any desired size by increasing the laser power.
The laser can also create bar coding not possible with the previous system. The marking system has also found use in a variety of other areas. Small, legible labels can be custom made to identify components or boards replacing inks or dyes which can be difficult to read.
Hamilton Standard implemented a new tool that will help to reduce costs. This system has helped reduce the standard hours to produce a nameplate by 51%. HS has reduced the cycle time by 70% and has reduced material costs by 90%. The new system is fast, flexible, modern, reliable, and capable of marking bar codes. Most important, the new system is cost-effective, which allows HSEMC to reduce product cycle-times and costs.
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