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Laser Marker Vs Inkjet Printer Vs Pneumatic Dot Peen Marking Machine

May 15, 2021

There are many marking machines available in industrial applications,such as: inkjet printers, laser marking machines and pneumatic marking machines. What are the differences between them and what are the advantages and disadvantages of them?

 

What is a Laser Marking Machine?

 

Laser marking machine is a marking device that uses a laser beam to make permanent marks on the surface of various materials.Laser marking system commonly consists of laser, galvanometer scanning system, focusing system, laser power supply and control card.

 

How does it Work?

 

There are two types of laser marking principles:"heat processing" and "cold processing".

 

Heat processing:Using a laser beam with higher energy density to meet the surface of the material. The surface of the material absorbs the laser energy and generates a thermal excitation process in the marking area, thereby, making the surface of the material (or coating) temperature rises to melt and evaporate the surface of the material and then leave a permanent mark.

 

Cold processing:Using ultraviolet photons with very high energy to break the chemical bonds of the material (especially organic materials) without thermal process damage.

 

Type of Laser Marking Machine

 

At present, there are commonly used including CO2 laser marking machines, fiber laser marking and ultraviolet laser marking machines and other types of laser marking machines.

 

CO2 Laser Marking Machine

 

The CO2 laser marking machine adopts 10.64μm gas laser(infrared light band),and CO2 and other mixture sealed into the high-voltage discharge tube to generate discharge,making gas molecules release the laser.Then through amplify laser energy to output level of a laser beam for material processing. The laser beam vaporizes the surface of material to engrave permanent marks .

 

CO2 laser marking machine can mark a variety of non-metallic materials and some metal objects, such as bamboo products, wood, paper, ABS, PVC, epoxy resin, acrylic, leather, glass, ceramics and rubber, etc. Widely used in packaging, plastics, textiles, leather, wood, handicrafts, electronic components, communications, watches, glasses, printing and other industries.

 

Fiber Laser Marking Machine

 

Fiber laser marking machine is a laser that uses a optical fiber with rare earth elements doped as gain medium. The output wavelength of fiber laser marking machine is 1064nm can be good absorbed by metal material. A fiber laser marking machine mainly composed of laser, vibrating lens and marking control card components. It has the advantages of good beam quality and long lifespan. Compared with other types of laser markers,the electro-optical conversion efficiency is more than 28% than other that of 2%-10%,and saving power consumption and maintenance-free.

 

Fiber Laser marking machines are widely used in industrial bearings, watches, electronic and communication products, aerospace devices, various auto parts, home appliances, hardware tools, molds, wires and cables etc, mass production line application.

 

UV Laser Marking Machine

 

The UV laser marking machine is developed by using a 355nm UV laser.With a very small focus spot, UV laser marking belongs to "cold marking",which can greatly reduce the deformation of the marking material.It is commonly used for high accuracy marking and engraving,especially for fine applications such as medical packaging and plastic materials.

 

Features:

 

  • No Consumables,which Can Greatly Save Operation Costs
  • Fast Speed
  • Fine Marking
  • Non-contact Marking
  • Laser Speed and Energy Adjustable
  • High Reliability and Strong Stability:
  • Low Maintenance
  • High Lifespan,the machine Can Work Continuously for 24 Hours,
  • Modular Design

 

What is an Inkjet Printer

 

The inkjet printer is a non-contact inkjet marking system controlled by a single-chip microcomputer.

 

How does it Work?

 

Through the internal gear pump or supplying compressed gas from the outside of the machine,applying a certain pressure to the ink in the system.Therefore,the ink is shot through a nozzle with an aperture of tens of micrometers.

 

First,the ink is split into ink droplets with the same frequency,size and a certain interval by the crystal oscillation signal;

 

Then, the ink droplets are charged separately when they pass the charging electrode while the amount of electricity charged by the CPU control,and then check whether the quantity of electricity and phase of the ink drop are correct through the detection electrode;

 

Finally, after the charged ink drop changes the path through the deflecting electric field,shoots from the nozzle to the surface of the material,printing various characters, patterns and other logos.

 

The uncharged ink drops are driven into the recovery tank and re-flow the ink circulation system inside the machine.

 

Features:

 

  • The inkjet distance is about 20mm, the ink solidification speed is about 1~3 seconds, large the solvent loss,large the air pollution, easy to block the nozzle, easy to cause missing dots and expensive consumables.
  • The small dots and not high resolution at about 50DPI, only simple graphics and symbols.
  • Low marking speed and low work efficiency.
  • High failure.

 

Laser Marking Machine Vs Inkjet Printer

 

Inkjet printers and laser marking machines are commonly used for marking patterns, texts and codes etc,like production date, expiration date,batch number, bar code, and trademark pattern. Application materials include paper, PVC, glass, plastic, rubber, wood, ceramics, leather, cloth and other materials.So,What is the difference between Inkjet printers and laser marking machines?

 

Comparison Of Laser Marking And Inkjet Printer

 

Type

Laser Marker

Inkjet Printer

Anti-counterfeiting

permanent

changeable

Efficiency

high-speed, high efficiency. It can work both in a single marking and in a high-speed flow of the production line.

 

High efficiency,but sometime may block the nozzles with ink

Flexibility

Very flexibility

It is difficult to print more complicated patterns on the surface of a small product

Reliability

High stable and reliable,it can work continuously, maintenance-free,little environmental affecting.

Basically stable, but relatively high failure,regular maintenance,the nozzle will be blocked due to changing environmental temperature,humidity and dust.

Initial cost

high

low

Operating cost

Very low, maintenance-free, without consumable

It consumes a lot of special inks and solvents, In addition, the replacement of nozzles and other accessories is high cost

Environmental protection

high

Ink and solvent are highly volatile substances, which will produce more chemical toxic residues and pollute the environment.

 

What is a Pneumatic Marking Machine

 

dot peen marking machine

Pneumatic marking machine is a device that dot peen by compressed air driving to print,which can print a certain depth of numbers, letters, vector diagrams and other marks on various parts,components and signs. The advantage of pneumatic dot peen marking machine is to print marks on higher hardness metals.

 

The pneumatic marking machine system consists of four parts:computer system,drive control system(electrical cabinet, control circuit board, driver), pneumatic system(gas circuit, filter pressure regulator, high frequency valve) and marking workbench(industrial-grade X-Y scanning system, Z-direction lifting system, marking head, work table).

 

How does it Work?

 

The dot peen controlled by computer moves on a certain trajectory on the X and Y two-dimensional surface. At the same time,It makes a high-frequency impact on the surface of the material under the action of compressed air, thereby printing a mark with a certain depth.

 

Pneumatic marking machines are commonly used for metals, and a few non-metals (non-metals with relatively high hardness), such as various mechanical parts, machine tools, hardware products, metal pipes, gears, pump bodies, valves, fastenings Marking of parts, steel and other metals.

 

Features:

 

  • It is easy to cause deformation of the work-piece.
  • The dot peen is easy to wear,  shorter life and expensive consumables.
  • Low resolution, only single-line graphics and characters can be marked and complex graphics and wide-line characters cannot.
  • Compressed air required before work,high noise.
  • Slow marking speed and not suitable for batch processing.

 

Comparison Of Laser Marker And Inkjet Printer and Dot Peen Marking

 

Type

Laser marking

inkjet

Dot peen

Marking speed

>500m/s

<4m/s

1~3 unit/s

Min line

>0.3mm

>1.5mm

>2mm

Max line

<300mm

<18mm

<140mm

Repeat marking accuracy

±0.003mm

 

±0.02mm

Marking depth

<1mm

 

 

Marking method

No-contact

No-contact

contact

Consumable

Electricity

electricity, ink, solvent

Electricity,dot peen

Marking effect

Clear,high resolution

Low resolution

Low resolution

Maintenance

Free(fiber laser)

high

regular

 

Summary

 

Laser marking machine is the most widely used equipment in the marking industry. The performance of laser marker is superior to inkjet printers, pneumatic marking machines and other equipment, but the price of laser marking machine is more expensive than that of inkjet printers and pneumatic marking machines. if you want to print deep marks on the metal, you can choose a pneumatic marking machine,if you require permanent and high-precision marks, you can choose a laser marking machine,all that according to your own requirements.