09 Apr Marking High Contrast 2D Matrix Codes On The Powertrain by Cleaning Dirty Components with a Laser
WHAT IS THE POWERTRAIN?
A powertrain is all the parts of a vehicle that are in involved in converting engine power into movement. Many of the powertrain parts are die cast and have a rough cast finish. This includes the transmission, flywheel, the driveshaft, axles, differentials, and many other parts. Many of these parts need identifying marks for traceability. These marks must be easily read and permanent.
PROBLEMS WITH TRACKING PARTS
As in the example to the right, some of the parts may be covered in oil, rough, dark in color, or difficult to mark. This would make the mark difficult to read, especially after years of use in the vehicle. Readability of the mark is critical for tracking the part not only during production but also for aftermarket replacements. The manufacturer must find unique solutions to marking these types of parts.
SOLUTIONS FOR MARKING
The optimal method is to machine a clean pad area for the mark. This gives a clean smooth service for the 2D matrix code or human-readable text. With this method, a dot peen or laser marker will produce a very clean readable mark. Utilizing a dot peen marker and a machined surface the manufacturer can easily mark a tracking mark or a code. There are times that the manufacturer cannot add the extra step of a cleaning area and they must rely on a different method of marking.
USING A CLEANING PASS
With a laser the customer can create a clean pad for the laser mark. To help the contrast with laser marking the laser first puts down the mark then it marks a reverse image mark to clean up a quiet area around the mark. This process will allow for very high contrast and a very high readability. Often times this process can be done on extremely rough and dirty surfaces as the laser can clean the area of anything that will interfere with the reliability of the mark.
Telesis is a specialist in marking automotive parts with both dot peen or lasers. The Telesis TMP6100 PINSTAMP®, for example, is one of the most advanced dot peen markers on the market. The TMP6100 marker can even autosense the distance to the part and make adjustments so that every mark is exactly the same. Additionally, the line of Telesis lasers offers advanced features such as Vari-Z™ and multiple options of in-line camera systems, like Teleview, that can mark and read the marks through the same lens.