Laser processing has gained attention in the industry due to its precision, ability to produce long-lasting, complex devices and instruments and its ability to assist with Unique Device Identification (UDI) compliance initiatives. OEMs have found the technology attractive, as it allows them to set their products apart from competitors, while suppliers have adopted the manufacturing process because of its versatility.
As we approach OMTEC 2016, BONEZONE will take a closer look at the types of exhibitors you will meet to help you prepare for the event. Laser Processing makes up 16 percent of the total core capabilities offered by the 145 companies exhibiting at OMTEC, as shown in the illustration below.
OMTEC Exhibitor Core Capabilities
Laser Processing Sub-Capabilities
Of the 60 exhibitors that provide Laser Processing,
Companies could claim more than one capability or laser processing sub-capability; most offer multiple services.
BONEZONE asked the exhibitors that offer laser processing to weigh in on the uses, benefits and challenges of employing the technology. Here’s some of what they had to say.
On the “buzz”:
“Everyone wants their product to stand out. Laser is a great way to identify key functions on parts, to get the company’s name out on their products and a more permanent mark for ease of tracking products.”
–Dean Zentz, VP Operations, DANCO Anodizing (Booth #306), Marking/Etching
On the benefits:
“High accuracy: The laser machines are CNC controlled and have great repeatability.
No tool wear: All cutting/marking/welding is done with a laser beam, so there is no direct contact with any other tooling. Therefore, no offsets need to be made once the process has been initially set up.
Ease of programming: For the most part, laser processing only involves 2-axis programming. Simple .dxf drawings can easily be converted to an M and G program for the CNC to read. Even the most complex shapes can be cut or marked using laser processing.”
–D.J. Galganski, Manufacturing Engineering Supervisor, Orchid (Booth #133), Machining/Cutting, Marking/Etching, Melting/Sintering, Welding
On the challenges:
“Knowing how power adjustments affect darkness and/or lightness of the finished application, and how etching results are affected by different substrates, e.g., aluminum, stainless steel and various types of plastic with various additives that are conducive to laser etching application.”
–Peter Thompson, Business Development, rms Surgical (Booth #206), Marking/Etching
“The challenge is to know what is available to satisfy the task at hand, and to select the appropriate equipment to meet the requirements. These requirements should include sizing the equipment to the need including throughput, consideration on ease of use, cost and versatility of use as requirements change–to name a few.”
–Bob Lynch, Vice President R&D and Marketing, Tecomet (Booth #406/407), Machining/Cutting, Marking/Etching, Melting/Sintering, Welding
To search all capabilities offered by the supply base, click on the Supplier Directory tab at the top left of this page.
Photo courtesy of Orchid.