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The use of laser engravers/cutters within industry has grown rapidly in recent years as the technology becomes more adaptive and affordable. It is now used throughout industry for processes including prototyping, fabrication, part marking, bar coding, branding, rating plates, jig making, signage and customisation, to name but a few.
Marking & cutting up to 4.1 metres per second
Tolerance +/- 0.0127mm
Each copy is identical , multiple parts in the one job
Convert a wide range of materials
No swarf and minimal dust
From computer design directly to laser cutter
Amendments & modifications are quick and simple
Periodic cleaning of optics
Less moving and spinning parts. Fume is exhausted
Can be operated with minimal training
No inks or chemicals required. Reduced waste
There are numerous types of laser source (tube) available which vary dramatically in size, power and capability depending on the application. Here at CSI we offer a range of CO2 and Fiber laser sources which deliver their energy using ‘flying optic’ motion control systems to mark, engrave and/or cut. Here is a brief description of each and their capabilities. See choosing the right laser for more detailed information.
This is a CO2 gas-filled device (tube) which is stimulated by passing an electrical charge through it. This excites the gas in the tube and forces it out through a small aperture producing a beam of invisible light which travels to the point of contact (material) via a series of mirrors and a focal lens in the form of a dot of intense energy. These laser tubes can be configured to output in a range of power options typically between 30 - 400 watts and operating at a wavelength of around 10,600 nm. Discover more on our CO2 laser systems.
CO2 is considered a good ‘all-round’ laser source as it will mark/engrave a wide range of substrates as well as cut various ‘softer’ materials like card, foam, fabrics, plastic and wood. Whilst they are very adept at removing the surface from painted and coated metals including anodised aluminium they struggle with bare metals. A black mark can be achieved but this requires the application of a liquid compound such as CerMark prior to lasering and then cleaned afterwards. Discover more on CO2 compatible materials. However, please note that metal cutting can be achieved when using one of our a high power Kern CO2 tubes and introducing a gas ie. Nitrogen or Oxygen. Discover more on metal cutting with a CO2 laser.
A Fiber laser has a solid state tube which consists of a fiber optic cable that has been doped with ytterbium, a rare earth element. This again is delivered to the point of contact via a series of mirrors and a lens to produce a spot of focused energy. Tube power options for marking tend to be 30 watts up to 3kW and operate at a wavelength of 1060 nm (10 times shorter than CO2 tube). Discover more on our Fiber Laser systems.
A Fiber laser source is considered to be mostly a marking device unless you are into high power kW cutting territory. The much shorter wavelength that it delivers means that metals can be marked directly without the need for any pre or post-treatment . Several different types of mark can be achieved on metal by small adjustments in speed, focus and frequency (pulsing of the laser). The three main types of mark are polished - a whitish finish, etched - ablating the material, Annealing- a black or dark brown finish. Discover more on Fiber compatible materials.
As the name suggests these systems have both CO2 and Fiber lasers sources in the one cabinet allowing conversion of a wide variety of natural and man made materials in the one process e.g engraving the wooden handle and marking the metal blade of a knife. Discover more on dual source lasers.
VARIOUS MARKS ACHIEVED WITH EPILOG FIBER LASER
KERN CO2 LASER WITH METAL CUTTING OPTION
There is no doubt that lasers are fantastic tools and simple to operate however, there are applications and situations where laser may not be the solution. This includes deep engraving and cutting of heavier metals where the cost of achieving this with a laser could be inhibiting. Also, where parts require bevelling as lasers only cut perpendicular. This is where rotary CNC systems have the upper hand. Discover more on Vision CNC systems.
"CSI have supplied us with Epilog Lasers and Vision Engravers/Routers for the past 10 years. The quality of their equipment is excellent and their technical support is outstanding."
Alan Wood - MD, Victory Signs Limited
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