Cajo has taken the laser technology to new application areas where it hasn’t been applicable before. Cajo’s laser marking technology replaces traditional marking technologies, such as inkjet, stick-on labels, engraving, etching and painting technologies. Because of their technological innovation, Cajo is today the world leader in the precision and distinctiveness of laser markings. Extremely precise and durable markings can be created on almost any material quickly and cost-efficiently.
The most significant challenge in the metal industry is creating markings that are permanent and informative, in all stages of the production chain. There is a diverse group of different marking techniques and methods that strive to meet these requirements, such as stamping, etching, painting, engraving and inkjet markings. The problem is that often the markings disappear or get corrupted, and hence the traceability information is lost. Alternatively, the risk is that the marking damages the basic material (e.g. with dot peen or die cutting). Many of the currently used marking methods are not able to create machine-readable 2D markings.
As the amount of information increases, new ways of compressing the marking data to a compact form has been created. Cajo’s laser marking system supports all known bar code and 2D code formats, and is able to generate the code automatically based on alphanumerical data.
For these reasons, laser marking is in many cases the best and most reliable alternative as a marking method. Cajo’s laser marking systems provide the fastest, most precise markings for machine-readable data matrices, QR codes, and bar codes that are permanent, and in most cases, maintain structural integrity and corrosion resistance of the material.
In the metal industry, traceability is a critical factor. In problem cases, the product’s origins and production parameters have to be traceable in detail and location specific.
Hot mill manufacturers are required to accurately identify sheets, blocks, slabs, rolls or coils of hot metal both for mill record-keeping purposes and for their end customers. They are also required to mark these products with certain identification markings. These markings provide an “identity” for the product, thus enabling the manufacturer and the end-user to look up the manufacturing origin and history of the product in a database. Requirements by different standards place ever stricter requirements for product individualization, authenticity verification and traceability.
In metal production, e.g. in smelting plants, the temperature of the production environment is high. Traditional printed label materials will melt under these conditions because coatings and adhesives burn at high temperatures. Labels may also fail when they are exposed to oils and chemicals during hot metal processing or scraping and scuffing during transport. Because of these demanding circumstances, laser marking methods are practically the only reliable method for marking metal parts and products.
Cajo´s unique laser technology enables the identification to be created on-site and even on the fly, according to production line speed, and to be automatically and permanently marked to the hot mill products. Maintenance-free laser marking equipment decrease production outages, and hence, increase the profitability of the production facility. Laser marking method is a high-speed marking method, where markings can include 2D codes, text and/or numbers.
Cajo Technologies designed its traceability marking solution for metal industry to withstand the extreme temperatures, chemicals and hot oils common in hot metal processing and to meet the requirements of production line speeds.
The significance of traceability markings is emphasized in many further processing stages in the metal industry, such as in automotive. We’ve all heard news stories about, or personally experienced product recalls in the automotive industry. Being able to trace each component in a motor vehicle is of critical importance when the safety of so many individuals depends on each part working correctly. Product recalls in automotive industry are signals of present-day problems, when counterfeit components and products increasingly end up as part of larger production structures, as they might not meet safety standards.
To ensure security, automobile manufacturers and automotive component suppliers use various types of alphanumeric codes, bar codes, or data matrices to mark their products – referred to as “traceability codes”. When applied and monitored correctly, these traceability codes can be used to locate and determine the performance of vehicle parts for years after they reach the end consumer.
Often, marking automotive parts that are used intensively for many years, are very small, or are made of difficult to mark materials can lead to issues in creating the ideal level of traceability needed by this industry. Additionally, timing and cost constraints require parts to be marked quickly and accurately every single time.
When considering various marking system options, laser marking stands out due to its’ ease of integration, durability of markings, speed of throughput, and continuous uptime. Laser marking systems can be configured in numerous ways because the accuracy and durability of the marking does not depend on direction the laser points or contact with the workpiece. The cost per part can be lowered due to the speed of laser markings and because laser marking systems do not require regular maintenance or costly additives. Lastly, they are not prone to the issues that often cause downtime with other marking solutions, avoiding headaches for manufacturers.
According to the International Chamber of Commerce, counterfeit goods still make up 8% of all world trade. Counterfeit products and components cause substantial quality and safety issues.
Cajo’s laser marking systems can produce unique identification markings that are durable and cost efficient. In addition to traditional serial numbers, identification can be made with e.g. machine-readable 2D codes.
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