Laser Marking In the Medical Device Industry

Laser marking have become a vital tool for carrying out various medical practices. Procedures that once required extended days of hospitalization and recovery can now be done in a matter of hours and often do not require overnight stays.

However, another secondary connection exists between lasers and the field of medicine. Lasers have been used for cutting, welding, and marking various surgical instruments and medical devices. With the ability to work at micron levels these days, lasers are an excellent industrial marking solution when it comes to medical equipment.

Most medical equipment usually goes through a process of chemical passivation, creating a surface film over the equipment that enhances its inherent corrosion resistance, preventing corrosion while also making it less susceptible to germs. One of the major benefits of laser marking technology is that it can mark instruments without causing any harm to the chemical coating. The marked surface retains its corrosion resistance even after being continually used, cleaned, and sterilized for years.

Marking of medical equipment is necessary to ensure that the equipment is easily identified and recalled. It is also important for the safety of the patients. Medical devices and equipment often require long alphanumeric strings to be marked on them. A lot of information, including serial number, date and place of manufacture, etc, is usually marked directly on the equipment. This information can comprise of various letters and numbers, and to place it on instruments that measure the size of a pencil, or sometimes even smaller, is a difficult task. This is where laser marking goes a step beyond other marking technologies. Advanced laser marking machines have the ability to mark codes comprising of more than twenty characters, all in a space less than a single centimeter – such is the level of accuracy that today’s tech has achieved.

There are various other marking technologies available for marking metal articles, including screen printing, inkjet, etc. But most of these technologies are not suitable for medical equipment as they involve various chemical compounds that can prove to be harmful.

On the other hand, lasers can produce extremely accurate and permanent markings on various equipments comprising of metal, plastic, and even on silicon, which was considered to be a material that could not be marked. These benefits have made laser a very popular marking solution when it comes to the medical industry.

Various laser marking machines have been devised to carry out the marking procedures. There are numerous providers of laser marking equipment around the globe, but when it comes to excellent quality, reliability, and great performance, VIKELASER stands out.

wine glass laser engraving

Why Does Your Business Need Laser Marking ?

Whether you work in the automotive and aerospace industries or the medical device industry, you understand the importance of part identification. For each division of manufacturing, there are laws and regulations put in place regarding identification to reduce error and ensure part safety.

In the medical device industry, the Food and Drug Administration released a final rule in 2013 requiring all manufacturers to include a unique device identifier (UDI) on device labels and packages, except where the rule provides for an exception or alternative; but as of September 2018, the FDA ruled that there must be visible dates on the labels of all devices, regardless if they are excepted from the 2013 rule.

The notion of part traceability is similar to that utilized by automotive and aerospace part manufacturers.

In the aerospace industry, engines, propellers and other replacement and modification parts are required to include certain registration and identification marking. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) determines which information is appropriate to include, such as the builder’s name, model designation and certification – if any – among other things. These markings are required to be on a fireproof dataplate or a similarly approved fireproof method.

Regulations for the medical device industry and the aerospace industry, as well as those in place for the automotive industry, are designed to help increase safety for all types of parts.
For example, automotive companies utilize part traceability to increase safety and reliability in their vehicles. If a component fails, the manufacturer can quickly and easily determine when and where the part was produced, allowing for critical recalls and warranty decisions to be made sooner.