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Laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

laser beam

Laser marking is a thermal process that uses the heat generated by a laser beam to alter the surface of the material being marked. There are several ways a laser can create marks, depending on the material and its surface finish, the wavelength of laser being used, and the settings used in the laser software.

A laser marking system consists of a laser source, marking head, and software. The laser generates the beam, which then enters the marking head. The marking head uses a focusing lens to focus the beam and galvanometers to steer the beam.

Lasers use no inks, fluids, or other consumables, making them a reliable and cost-effective way to permanently mark parts.

Classes of Lasers

Class 4 laser

Class 4/Class IV lasers are visible-beam lasers that do not have guarding around the beam, which can cause burns, injury, and eye damage.

When integrating Class 4 lasers into production environments, safety precautions must be employed including laser-safe enclosures or eye protection and the use of safety interlocks.

Class 1 laser

Class 1/Class I laser systems completely enclose the visible laser beam during operation so that no additional safety precautions are necessary.

Laser-safe glass is used to eliminate the possibility of eye damage while viewing the laser.

Learn more about lasers and laser safety at the OSHA web site.

Laser Marking On Your Material

Is there a difference between laser engraving and etching?

Different process techniques can be used to produce the type of mark you require on your material. Some techniques create deep marks, some create high-contrast colored marks, and so on. Learn more about the different laser marking methods.

Is laser marking appropriate for your parts?  

Different types and wattages of lasers will produce different types of marks, depending on the material and surface condition of your part and the available time for marking. Pannier product specialists and sales engineers are here to help you find the right solution.

View all laser marking systems.

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