Ford implements advanced laser marking

April 1, 2006
MECCO, a leader in industrial marking and traceability, is utilizing its latest laser technologies to provide a traceability solution to The Ford Motor Company’s transmission plant in Livonia, Michigan.

Editor’s Note: The following news item was received after ILS decided to publish the article by Frank Maslar that appears in this issue. It seems to be a logical follow-up to Maslar’s comments about the cost and technical benefits of fiber laser marking equipment. - DAB

Pittsburgh, PA - MECCO, a leader in industrial marking and traceability, is utilizing its latest laser technologies to provide a traceability solution to The Ford Motor Company’s transmission plant in Livonia, Michigan.

Frank Maslar of Ford Advanced Manufacturing Technology group states that, “Ford has been focused on implementing traceability solutions across all of our production. Ford will utilize this tracking information to maintain process control to ensure that the quality of the manufacturing of our vehicles is of the highest quality.”

Begun in January, MECCO and Ford are conducting a three-month production trial of the MeccoMark 20W, Q-switched, fiber-delivered Ytterbium laser marking system. This unit will be permanently marking critical information in the form of both 2D Data Matrix and Human Readable to each transmission case. This laser marked information will be read and verified at several predetermined points along the transmission production line.

The decision to implement this laser marking system into Ford’s assembly process came after MECCO’s innovative designs were selected for this turnkey marking system based on Ford’s specific cost, product, and facility considerations. This design advantage allowed for safer and more cost-effective 2D direct part marking equipment at Ford.

MeccoMark 20W will meet Ford’s transmission marking needs where traditional flashlamp laser markers with the requirement for extensive safety guarding could be cost-prohibitive. As an integrated part of the assembly process, this unit requires a small footprint to apply scannable 2D data matrix codes during the transmission assembly process. Operating as a small, compact unit, it will easily integrate into assembly line and will function with dramatically less factory floor space due to the elimination of the large safety enclosures required with other laser marking system designs.

These safety system integration advantages will better serve Ford’s assembly line operators. MECCO’s proprietary CDRH Class 1 approved design confines the laser beam to a small, light-tight enclosure, and will prohibit assembly operators from laser light exposure.

This laser marker is available as 10W or 20W units providing 30,000+ hours of laser lifetime. The associated savings on consumables will make it one of the most cost-effective marking systems on the market.

At 3000 mm/s (250 characters per second) covering a surface space up to 5 in. x 5 in, the MeccoMark 20W is ideal for Ford’s routine marking applications that require dates, codes, and serialization, as well as other information essential for automotive part service and warranty. It meets all AIAG 2D Data Matrix marking requirements as specified in the B-4 marking and identification standard and B-17 direct part marking guidelines. In addition MECCO will also provide Ford with comprehensive service and support to optimize the system’s software performance.

For more information on MECCO’s full range of marking technologies and services, visit www.mecco.com or call 888.369.9199. - Todd Hockenberry

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