Application StoriesLaser Marking

Differential Case Laser Marking System

Columbia Marking Tools, Inc. has designed and built a special differential case laser marking system to place 2D datamatrix codes on the flanges of differential cases and verify the part after marking. The system interfaces the mark data with the customers production control system.

 The laser marking machine is designed with an upstream and downstream chain driven freestanding steel frame transfer conveyor that holds a minimum of three parts ahead and behind the laser marking station. The conveyor has adjustable legs for variable height and mounting provisions for floor anchoring.

The laser chamber is a freestanding extruded aluminum sub structure that mounts an MDF5100 50 watt Keyence laser marker and a Cognex DMR-360x camera system for direct part marking verification. A freestanding fume extraction system is provided for the laser.

In operation, differential cases are loaded into the upstream side of the conveyor with rough part orientation provided during transport. A separate vision system radially locates the mark between the bolt holes. The part travels to an upstream pneumatic part metering system with part marring protection details that holds a minimum of three parts in the que. Parts are then metered into the marking station where they are lifted by pneumatic lift upward into a fixture locator. The fume extraction is started at that time. The laser then marks the part with the man readable 2D code. The camera system verifies the part and is lifted back down and returned to the conveyor where it travels to the downstream part meter also designed to hold a minimum of three parts. In the event of a part being rejected or a camera fail, the part will be held in the mark station and an alarm is generated for the operator to manually remove the part. That part meter then release the part for unloading by a robot. Total cycle for the laser marking system is 34 seconds.

Columbia Marking Tools is a leading designer and manufacturer of metal and plastic marking equipment including stamps, roll marking dies, roll marking and impact marking machines, fully programmable pulsed fiber diode laser, peen/scribe marking and UID/2D Square ◙ Dot® machines, numbering heads and special marking machines.

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