In the tool making production process, tool laser marking is a necessary step that not only serves the purpose of providing basic tool geometry information, but also includes information pertaining to tool provenance and regrinding history. A basic requirement of laser marking is to have identification that is clear, and easy to read and understand.
VIDEO: AutoMarkX -- ANCA's Automatic Laser Marking Station
Laser is the technology of choice for tool marking for several reasons. First, a laser produces an indelible mark which is crucial for easy identification throughout the lifetime of the tool. The quality is consistently excellent with high contrast and minimal surface disturbance -- both of which are important for cutting tool performance. Second, laser technology is very mature which ensures consistent high reliability over many years.
A challenge with using standard manual laser marking stations is that it is among the most labor-intensive activities of any company. Automating the laser marking task is a direct solution to address this, with multiple benefits. Automation saves on labor cost, eliminates human error and frees up staff to perform more value-adding activities. After the initial investment, this asset will perform long-term over many years with a very low level of maintenance required.
ANCA offers two automatic laser marking options for a range of applications and individual requirements.
RoboMate LaserEtch is an integrated laser system that can be added to the ANCA RoboMate loader for the TX and MX platforms, allowing laser marking of individual tools in-process. This is a convenient, compact and flexible solution. After grinding, the tool is automatically laser marked, for example tool ID and graphics such as a company logo -- all without any increase to tool takt time. This solution means:
An automatic stand-alone laser marking station, the AutoMarkX is the latest addition to ANCA's family of tool production solutions. The operator simply loads up to two full pallets of tools and the robot performs the laser marking operations, freeing up staff to take care of other tasks in the factory. The unit can accommodate a wide range of tool sizes, making it a versatile proposition for many manufacturers.
ANCA's laser marking systems can be integrated into the AIMS Server to become a part of a fully automated production cell. In this case, sequential tool production processes are fully automated right through to laser marking on the tool. AIMS also provides a platform for extended functionality including tool traceability and serialization.
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