Jimani Laser Marking and Engraving Job Shop Services

Jimani has performed laser marking and engraving job shop services since 1990. We have consistently provided timely, high quality marking on a wide variety of product using both Fiber and CO2 steered beam laser marking systems.

Fiber Laser Marking and Engraving:

All metals are good candidates for being marked and engraved with a fiber laser. The terms marking and engraving are frequently used interchangeably but there is a difference. Marking depths are generally just microns deep into the surface whereas engraving depths are in mils (thousandths of an inch) into the surface. Although it is possible to mark as deep into a metal surface as is desired, going beyond .015-.020” is usually not very practical and very deep engraving applications are usually better served with more traditional engraving tools such as rotary mechanical engravers. 

Laser marking on anodized aluminum

Laser engraving into steel

Laser marking on plastic

Black Stain marking on stainless steel

Marking field sizes (size of the marking field, not the part) range from about 5 inches square to about 12 inches square. Smaller marking fields are better for deeper engraving because the laser beam focuses to a smaller spot with smaller marking field lenses. If the required marking area exceeds the marking field of the lens then the part must be repositioned to accommodate the size of the marking.

Marking on cylindrical surfaces can be done and the distance that the mark can be “wrapped” around the part depends on the diameter of the part and the depth of focus of the lens. As a general rule, one could mark about 60 degrees around the circumference of a 1 inch diameter part without rotating the part or distorting the mark. Beyond that distance, the part must be rotated. Rotary and linear “tiling” allows full 360 degree marking on cylindrical surfaces and marking over the entire length of the linear stage travel.

The actual marking can be in the form of human readable text, machine readable text (1D and 2D barcodes), serial numbers. Because a fiber laser can focus to a very small spot, very high marking resolution can be obtained.

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As stated earlier, all metals, coated, plated or bare, are good candidates for fiber laser marking and engraving. Some, but not all, plastic materials mark well with a fiber laser. Marking rather than engraving is almost always the goal with plastics. Ideally, dark colored plastics can achieve light colored marking and light colored plastics can achieve dark colored marking. 

More information about fiber laser marking can be found in the links below or on the Jimani website blog 

https://www.jimani-inc.com/blog/laser-marking-vs-engraving

https://www.jimani-inc.com/blog/laser-marking-201-marking-various-types-of-products

CO2 Laser Marking and Engraving:

CO2 lasers have a different wavelength (color of the laser light) than fiber lasers and because of this the light from a CO2 laser works with different materials than does a fiber laser. While a fiber laser is great for marking on all metals, a CO2 laser is exactly the wrong choice for metal marking.  Wood, glass, plastics, non-metals and organic materials are best marked with a CO2 laser.

The longer wavelength of a CO2 laser also means that it will not have the same fine linewidth as a fiber laser. This means that a CO2 laser cannot achieve the same detailed marking resolution as a fiber laser. 

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Examples of CO2 Laser Marking on paint, wood and glass

More information about CO2 Laser Marking and Applications can be found on our blog

How much will It cost to get my parts marked?

There are several factors that determine to cost of Jimani’s Job Shop Marking Services.

Those include: 

Graphic charges:

Any marking or engraving requiring something more than standard typesetting will incur a non-recurring $50 graphic charge. Over the years we have realized that we can rarely, if ever, use customer provided artwork as the final graphic image on the laser. Rather than compromise on the appearance of the final product, we do whatever is necessary to modify the graphic so that it looks good on the product for the required image size and the type of laser used. That graphic charge is non-recurring for any future orders or products using that graphic. The size of the graphic can be modified within reason for future products or orders at no charge.

Machine Setup Charge:

For each order or run of the same part there is a machine setup charge. The machine setup includes proper optical configuration of the laser and mechanical fixturing which allows the part to be quickly and accurately loaded and unloaded. That charge is $27.50 for parts that do not require repositioning during the marking cycle and $50.00 for parts that require rotary or linear repositioning during the marking cycle. Because every run of parts has a machine setup charge we do not have a required minimum order size.

Marking or engraving charge on the machine:

This charge is based on marking cycle time and part loading time which translates to thru put. Charges are based on an $88.00/hour shop rate for small runs of parts (less than 8 hours of continuous machine time) or a $66.00/hour shop rate for larger runs (greater than 8 hours of continuous machine time). If, for example, a part has a marking cycle time of 45 seconds and a new part can be loaded and positioned in 15 seconds, the total cycle time is 60 seconds and, based on an $88.00/hour shop rate, the marking charge would be $1.47 per part. In the example above, larger order sizes that require more than 8 hours of continuous machine time would be based on a $66.00/hour shop rate and cost $1.10 per part for marking or engraving.

Additional Handling Charges:

If product for marking is individually boxed or packaged in such a way that it cannot be removed or replaced in that packaging during a marking cycle then the packaging is not done at the laser marking station. Unpacking of individual parts would be done prior to sending the work to the marker and repacking would be done at the shipping station. This type of work is performed at a shop rate of $44 per hour rather than the higher machine rate. We encourage customers to do their own packaging and send the product with only enough wrapping to protect the items during shipping.

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