Laser part marking is an important tool in the manufacturing process, allowing you to easily identify components and track them through the production lifecycle. This provides important benefits to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) like product traceability, as well as material tracking in manufacturing, allowing you to perform defect investigation and root cause analysis of potential flaws in the manufacturing process.
Laser part marking ultimately provides a massive boost to end customer quality, giving them the confidence to know you’re following their product through every step of production, and can easily integrate your OEM part numbers into their PLM system.
What is Laser Marking?
Laser part marking is the process by which a laser etches information into a part during the manufacturing process. This information can take the form of OEM part numbers, serial numbers, bar codes, QR codes, or other identifying information. While the exact method of laser marking can vary depending on the material—as some processes require different types of lasers—the process is versatile, and can be applied on metals, plastics, and leaves a permanent record for quality control and material tracking without risk of fading or deterioration.
Why Should You Laser Mark Your Parts?
Laser part marking provides an invaluable service to automotive, medical, aerospace, and virtually any other industry where part quality and traceability are paramount. By laser marking your part with its appropriate information, you can trace every part through its manufacturing life cycle, without risk of losing traveling paperwork.
Laser-etched barcodes or QR codes can be linked to your internal Manufacturing Execution System (MES) software, allowing you to cross-check a part with its quality assurance sign-off process, and to know it’s ready to be shipped out to the customer. Should a flaw in your process be identified, your newfound traceability in quality control gives you the ability to perform root cause analysis, tracing back every part which passed through the production line at a given time, assuming you scan a part of the beginning of each discrete production step.
How This Benefits the Customer
At the end of the day, laser part marking and manufacturing traceability solutions bring you one step closer to complete customer confidence in your product and your ability to provide customers with metrics and data, which can be almost as important as the finished product itself.
Part marking extends beyond your own internal processes and materially affects your customer as well. Laser marked part numbers and serial numbers can be imported into your customers’ Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software system, enabling them to readily match their internal numbering to yours, and to easily restock when necessary. Should the customer encounter a flaw or defect, this unbroken chain of documentation—made possible by permanent laser marking—can be followed back from the field, to the customer and to your manufacturing process, allowing you to get ahead of issues and resolve them immediately.
How +Vantage Brings Laser Marking to You
+Vantage recognizes the incredible importance of laser marking for product traceability, both in manufacturing and beyond, and we offer the complete set of services to provide your firm with this capability.
We take safety seriously, and all laser-based systems require an FDA Accession report for safety. +Vantage has an in-house, accredited safety officer, and every laser system we ship will come with its own FDA Accession report, demonstrating full federal compliance.
Every laser marking system is built with a turnkey approach optimized for your specific application, meaning we pick the right laser for your material, and offer the choice of semi-automatic operator-loaded systems, robot-loaded, or conveyor through-feed systems. The versatility of feed styles gives you the option to easily add part traceability into a pre-existing production line, or develop a system for a brand new product and start with product traceability from day one.
A +Vantage system covers everything you need to ensure you’re practicing product traceability in an effective and thorough manner. Our systems provide the ability to intake data and serial numbers from your MES software, laser mark the part, and then export this data to a customer-facing PLM software, providing the complete lifecycle of material tracking in manufacturing, from OEM to customer.
Ready to Get Started?
If you’re ready to take the first steps towards integrating laser marking and product traceability, or you’re well acquainted with the benefits and need a turnkey solution for a new product line, contact us at +Vantage to get started!