Laser Marking on Hard-Anodized Aluminium – Partnership With Cajo Helps Mectalent Meet Challenging Customer Needs
Product development, demanding equipment manufacturing and precision mechanics are Mectalent’s top expertise. Mectalent provides comprehensive customer service all the way from product development to production. Depending on customer requirements, Mectalent can also provide assistance exclusively in product development or in production.
At Mectalent, the starting point for everything is meeting customer needs in the best possible way. Mectalent manufactures high-quality products, which sets a high standard also for the production equipment and their performance. The partnership of Cajo Technologies and Mectalent began from the laser marking need of a Mectalent customer. At that time, Mectalent did not have the means to fulfil this requirement with their old equipment. For Mectalent this meant they had to find a partner who would possess the necessary equipment and expertise to meet the demanding customer needs.
”Cajo was selected as a partner and that way we could get the equipment we have been using ever since,” explains Mr. Tuomas Kemppainen, Production Manager at Mectalent.
Laser Marking for Diverse and Challenging Materials
For their customers, Mectalent manufactures products made from various materials, some of which are challenging to process. This requires expertise from the personnel and sets high standards for the machinery used in production. Mectalent does not have any products of its own – they function as a contract manufacturer for its customers. Thanks to this, the materials used in production and the requirements placed for the end products vary rather substantially case by case. In addition to high performance, excellent adaptability is required from the production equipment. This way, various production processes can be successfully completed as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Thanks to the partnership with Cajo Technologies, Mectalent has high-quality and powerful systems and also problem-solving support from Cajo experts whenever necessary.
”Cajo has always been able to provide a solution for our demanding products. The needs of our customers are often quite specific and Cajo has been able to offer the necessary expertise. We have always received support from them whenever necessary and the tasks have been completed smoothly in a good cooperative spirit”, Kemppainen says.
Vega Series Stand-Alone Laser Marking Systems as an Integral Part of the Production Line
Cajo’s laser marking system can be found in its own cell on Mectalent’s production line. The laser marking system used daily by Mectalent is the Cajo Vega™ series stand-alone system. The production line’s efficiency was increased also through the automation of the laser marking processes. Support from Cajo experts helped to automate the manufacturing of serial products used by Mectalent robotics.
”Using robotics, we have tested the automation of certain serial products and integrated laser marking into our hardware. For this task we received a lot of support from Cajo”, Kemppainen confirms.
Colour Markings for Stainless Steel and Aluminium
Mectalent has completed laser markings for example on hard-anodized aluminium using the equipment of Cajo Technologies. In laser marking, it should be taken into account that the surface of the aluminium is extremely hard and wear-resistant due to hard anodization. Producing clearly readable and high-quality laser markings after such surface treatment is a challenge, setting high demands for the performance level of the laser marking device.
In addition to the coating of the product, it must be taken into account what marking tone or shade the customer wants when laser marking products. To ensure the correct shade, the basic raw material of the product must be taken into account. A good example of Mectalent’s typical customer need is the customer’s requirement to get a certain shade of marking on stainless steel. Getting a precise and specific shade often proves to be the most challenging part of the laser marking process.
”For us here in production, it is typical that the customer’s products are manufactured from various raw materials with different kinds of coatings onto which the customer wants a certain type of marking. Often getting a specific shade is the most difficult part of the marking process. You have to take into account the product’s main raw material, coating, and on top of everything you must get a certain marking tone”, Kemppainen describes.
Serial Numbers, Product Numbers and QR Codes Are the Most Common Markings
Typically a customer of Mectalent needs their products marked with serial numbers or product numbers, product codes, QR codes and barcodes. In addition to these variables, the customer might have also other kinds of marking needs requiring solutions offered together by Mectalent and Cajo experts using Cajo’s equipment in production.
It is important that the markings are clearly readable on the products. This is the starting point in all product markings. Additionally, the customer might have other requirements which define how the laser marking of the products should be handled. The quality of the markings must meet the high quality of the manufactured products.
”Naturally, the products must be high-quality and the same applies also to the markings. The markings must be clearly readable on the product and often customer requirements are the defining factor in how the process ought to be handled” Kemppainen confirms.
The partnership of Mectalent and Cajo Technologies enables Mectalent to offer customers a wide selection of services also for the laser marking of products, for example on hard-anodized aluminium. Mectalent’s customers have a constant need also for more specific laser markings. Tuomas Kemppainen is confident that by meeting these needs Mectalent can improve also customer satisfaction.
”We are able to serve and accomplish these challenging, difficult and even very specific markings constantly requested by customers, and we hope to improve also customer satisfaction thanks to this service selection”, Kemppainen declares.