UK-based engineering giant 600 Group One, a trusted and respected supplier to Australian industry, is set to make a mark that looks certain to change the way many companies approach their product and component branding and identification challenges.
Sydney-based 600 Machine Tools is now the sole outlet in Australia for another member of the Group, Electrox of Letchworth Garden City – a relatively young company that has harnessed laser technology to become the foremost company in its field, worldwide.
The Hertfordshire company is an acknowledged global leader in the design, development, and manufacture of laser marking systems, and recently announced that its order book had risen to near £2m, its highest level since the start of the global financial crisis back in 2007 and the subsequent economic downturn.
The main driver for this recession busting growth is an ever-increasing global requirement for the marking, identification, and traceability of components in most industrial markets, including medical, giftware and engineering.
Many industries that have not traditionally used laser marking are now recognising the benefits of permanently marking components and finished products, and further growth is anticipated as more sectors switch to laser technology from such traditional techniques as stamping, pin, and dot-peen marking.
A beauty spot
Now available to Australian companies is the Raptor laser – the first laser marking system to be powered by EF technology. Such is its faith in this new system that Electrox is able to give EF Technology a four-year warranty – the longest warranty available anywhere in the laser marking industry.
The Raptor is a compact system for high or low volume applications. It has a very small laser head, incorporating an optical unit, fully sealed to IP52, to ensure extremely low maintenance, even in hostile environments. An annual health check is normally all that is required.
EF Technology provides very short energy pulses – 25 nanoseconds (ns) compared to anything from 70ns to 200ns in other systems – which enables high peak powers (up to 10kW) combined with low pulse energies. This allows high-contrast, low-damage marking on metals and plastics.
Near perfect beam quality and exceptional energy stability over the entire operational range means that the technology delivers very small spots – typically 70μm from a 254 mm lens. Smaller spots are possible – down to 25μm.
The system is entirely air-cooled, and takes power direct from a single-phase socket outlet. Modular units can be supplied for integration into a production line, but can equally be supplied with a safety workstation as a turnkey system. The 5U, 19-inch rack electronics enclosure is about the same size as a tower PC.
Advanced laser systems supplied by Electrox are providing one of Europe’s largest domestic appliance manufacturers with a clear and permanent advantage when it comes to marking operating control panels for its dishwashing machines.
The Hertfordshire company has supplied two EF-technology Raptor II-based workstation systems to Arçelik A.Ş. in Turkey, for its Beko and Arçelik whitegoods brands. These are sold in more than 100 countries around the globe.
Arçelik is part of Koç Holding, Turkey’s largest industrial and services group and the third-largest European domestic appliances company.
Serdar Cevik of Arçelik A.Ş. Dishwasher Plant, says: “Our dishwashers and other domestic appliances are recognised throughout the world for using the latest state-of-the-art features and technology. This innovation and advanced technology is one of the main reasons why so many people choose from the Beko ranges for their domestic appliances, he says.
“When it comes to marking control panels and other parts of machines, the use of laser marking represents the most advanced technology in the industry, and it enables us to achieve the most precise, clean, and permanent markings.
“The Electrox laser systems that we acquired have been integrated successfully into our dishwasher production plant at Arçelik A.Ş. and the results are helping us to maintain our market-leading position and worldwide reputation in the domestic appliances industry,” Mr Cevik added.
On your marks
“This application clearly demonstrates the suitability of Electrox lasers for high quality and permanent marking of plastic products, said Cliff Purser, managing director 600 Machine Tools. “It can be seen that Arçelik AŞ and other global customers derive important cost-benefits, along with other advantages in terms of quality and performance, by their decision to utilise laser-marking in this way,” Mr Purser said.
“One of the obvious benefits to end-users of whitegoods – such as washing machines and dishwashers – is that, in the past, printed marks and symbols on control panels would wear away with use over a period of time. With laser-marking that quite simply cannot happen – the identification marks are permanent for the full lifetime of the machine.”
600 Machine Tools
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