Undoubtedly, the business of marking or engraving metals dates back a couple of decades. If you’re looking to get into the metal engraving business, you should take careful consideration to find a laser marking machine that will achieve professional results and save cost. With the best laser engraver for metal in your hands, your customer retention factor will remain high due to the superior quality products you deliver. Generally, you should aim to maximize profit and minimize running costs with your array of equipment.
A laser engraver for metal is multifaceted and has different schools of thought. While many agree that fiber laser markers are advantageous, others are content with the CO2 laser engraver. However, the most popular opinion is that fiber laser markers have more benefits and are less demanding than CO2 laser engravers. Let’s dive in and uncover why.
Fiber Laser Marker vs. CO2 Laser engraver
The concept of “marking” is slightly different from that of “engraving,” although people tend to confuse them. Fiber laser markers are primarily made for marking metals due to their superior capacity to deliver permanent marking on metal surfaces. Laser marking involves melting or slightly burning the desired pattern onto the metal’s surface. This method is specially developed to penetrate metals. The wavelength it produces allows for high absorptivity of the pattern to be marked, which is often resistant to solvent and scratch. Laser marking causes a color change — usually black — but a silver/flashy finish is possible depending on the input settings of the machine.
On the other hand, laser engraving involves focusing a narrow beam of light on a surface which vaporizes the material’s surface to engrave the desired pattern. Laser engraving works seamlessly on wood, rubber, leather, glass, etc., and in rare cases, metals. In fact, a CO2 laser engraver does not have the required wavelength to penetrate a metal unless it is coated with a bonding application. In other cases, the metals may already come coated such as anodized black aluminum or a typical hydro flask. This coating is a special one that allows for easy penetration of the laser beam despite its limitation. In essence, there is no total removal of metal layers in any form. To re-emphasize, a CO2 laser machine can mark metals if applied with a laser spray or bond.
What Metals Will You be Dealing With?
When starting your business, you must clearly define your vision and mission. You must highlight the metals you desire to work with, which will guide your decision on which laser machine to purchase. In the end, your goal should be to bring on board the best laser machines for the metals you will be dealing with. For the following metals, a fiber laser marker will be the best:
- Stainless steel
While a CO2 laser engraver will work fine with metals such as these with the correct laser bond appliance:
- Anodized Aluminum
- Powder-Coated Stainless Steel
- Coated Nickel
- Coated Titanium
With these metals now classified, it is crystal clear that the best laser engraver for metal and your business is the fiber laser marker. The attributed benefits for this conclusion are outlined below.
Benefits of Fiber Laser Markers Over CO2 Laser Engravers
It requires little or no maintenance due to the minimal number of moving parts used in manufacturing it. This implies that it would also have little or no downtime and a more productive lifespan. Hence as a business entity, not only would you have the best laser marker for metal on board, you would also save a lot of running cost.
This is yet another amazing attribute of the fiber laser marker. It delivers efficiency, consuming little energy while producing more concentrated laser beams. Yet, it is eco-friendly and does not alter or interfere with the condition of the environment.
In addition, the turn-around time is also very quick, which means for businesses like yours, meeting a high number of demands would not be a problem. More so, the fact that it marks without affecting the parts’ surrounding area makes it suitable for highly sensitive materials.
Beyond reasonable doubt, a fiber laser marker delivers the best marking for hard metals. The accuracy of its contrast with which it delivers the marking is impeccable, allowing for excellent visibility of the marked pattern.
Elimination of Consumables
Unlike CO2 laser engravers that require a pre-coating before heading to engrave, a fiber laser marker does not require that. Just your bare hard metal can be served into the machine directly for marking, and the result will definitely blow your mind. However, all users must be aware of safety precautions such as wearing safety goggles or using a welder’s curtain to surround the designated laser area.
Now that you have learned the advantages of the fiber laser marker over the CO2 laser engraver when it comes to marking metals, you should be able to choose the right engraving machine for your business. Not only will this knowledge help you acquire the best laser engraver for metals, but it will also help you achieve overall business success and profitability. Thus, if you desire to partner with a reliable and trusted laser machine manufacturer, do well to reach out to OMTech. They are your one-stop-shop for all your laser needs and business requirements.
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