Valve manufacturer chooses laser systems

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UK-based Fort Vale Engineering, a provider of valves and fittings for transportation in the road tanker and tank container industries, has invested in laser-based product marking solution from ES Technology.

Product and component traceability are also essential within this industry and any markings applied to a part must be capable of withstanding the rigours of continual use within what can sometimes be extreme environmental conditions.

To meet Fort Vale’s own demanding criteria for product marking on a wide range of hatchways and inspection covers, the company turned to laser marking and machine building specialist ES Technology.

Andrew Bryce, Fort Vale's director for innovation, commented: 'Having researched the market, we found that ES had the ideal combination of laser source, machine concept and expertise to provide a system with the flexibility, ergonomics and most of all standard of marking which we required.'

The ES Technology system is designed to handle components up to 600mm in diameter and 500mm in height. At the heart of system is a Rofin PowerLine F50 (50W fibre laser) coupled with a swivelling galvo scanner, which provides a marking field of 240 x 240mm. By combining the swivelling galvo head concept with a series of programmable linear and rotary axes, the system is capable of producing marks in multiple locations on both the horizontal and vertical 'neck ring' surfaces of hatchways and covers.

The laser is used to produce customer numbers, part numbers, assembly numbers and generate the individual customer logos on to the 316 and 304 series stainless steel components.

The system has also been designed to make part loading and unloading both simple and ergonomic. A large sliding guard door provides excellent frontal access and also additional access for overhead lifting equipment. Once a part has been loaded to the rotary table, the table is automatically moved to the laser marking position using one of the machine’s linear axes.