A custom-designed laser solution has enabled Birmingham precision engineering firm Brandauer to expand into a new market sector.
The company commissioned a bespoke Scorpion Rapide laser for integrated inline component identification as well as a stand-alone Raptor laser for offline process development from Electrox to support its move into the power generation sector.
Brandauer, which specialises in the supply of specialist metal stampings and progression tooling, had already invested more than £750,000 on two new high-speed Bruderer presses to allow it to accommodate larger modular tools with more complex operations.
However, to deliver the new contract it needed to be able to undertake precision permanent marking to ensure the traceability of components, which is where Electrox stepped in. Brandauer had originally been working with a laser marking competitor, but at the eleventh hour they withdrew their presence in the UK. This left the pressing specialist with the prospect of either having no back-up for such a large project or starting the whole marking specification process again; at which point Electrox was recommended as a firm that not only had the laser marking expertise but was able to provide comprehensive UK support. After examining Brandauer’s requirements, Electrox confirmed that they would be able to provide an equivalent bespoke laser solution within the shortened timescale available.
Speaking about the Electrox lasers, Rowan Crozier, Sales and Marketing Director at Brandauer, said: “When our original equipment supplier pulled out of the UK, we were very concerned that we could only have the lasers without the local after-market support. After an immediate re-review of alternative providers in the UK we were very happy to be referred to Electrox who quickly established that they could deliver the high spec custom-designed lasers, with the vital after-sales support we needed.
“They were fantastic throughout every stage of the process from the specification, to trials and final production; they quickly stepped up to the mark, provided a very competitive package and worked to an extremely tight deadline to get us up and running.”
The result is a bespoke automated marker/reader, which features a custom workstation to house a Scorpion Rapide and two Keyence SR650 cameras. This has been specially designed to hold the laser upside-down; however this brought its own problems – namely keeping the laser clean for the highly precise marking required. Electrox overcame this with the addition of carefully positioned air knives, which ensure dust generated from the tooling being marked never comes into contact with the laser.
Brandauer specified the Scorpion Rapide because its high performance optic fibre laser offers precision marking on metal and plastics. It is now used to sequentially mark a 2D data matrix code on thin gauge (0.1mm) stainless steel strip. The process is completely automated allowing marking of more than 20 million parts per annum to be undertaken. Furthermore, the workstation has been designed to fulfil poka yoke failsafes, ensuring marks are not only present but also readable, providing safe shut down and containment within the process.
This is complemented by a Raptor laser with a stand alone D-Box workstation, which is used to create customer specific 2D traceability codes on specialist power generation products and bespoke components for low volume and prototype applications. Since taking delivery of the machine Brandauer have developed a customer friendly standard pricing matrix for bespoke laser marking which can be accessed via their brand new website .
“Both lasers meet our customers’ exacting requirements, allowing us to achieve the new traceability specifications now being demanded by a number of our new sector customers,” added Rowan. “We are delighted with the two Electrox lasers and would definitely recommend them to anyone looking for a bespoke precision marking solution.”
Peter Ramsden, Sales Director at Electrox, said: “We were delighted to be given the opportunity to work with Brandauer, a renowned market leader. We worked closely with their team to create a tailor-made solution and are pleased that this has helped them enter a new sector.”
As well as providing the bespoke lasers and workstations, Electrox will provide a full after-sales service including a comprehensive warranty and customer care plan.
Electrox was founded 30 years ago and is part of the world-renowned 600 Group PLC. The company manufactures a wide variety of fully-integrated laser marking solutions. Its systems are fast, extremely easy to use and very cost effective.
Electrox lasers offer a wide range of laser application solutions including ablation and coating removal such as for automotive displays, coding for traceability and identification and labelling and for decorative design and personalisation.
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