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When is Scrap Not Scrap?

For most companies using laser marking or engraving machines, scrap is scrap when the operator says so. This means that (at least in theory) any faulty or damaged part that slips through the visual check becomes that operator’s responsibility. In these circumstances, if the operator is not sure then “better safe than sorry” becomes the guiding principle.

The outcome is that many perfectly usable workpieces and parts end up as scrap material.

The automated alternative

The human factor is often the main cause of overly high scrap rates. When this is replaced by an automated visual process, then scrap levels can be reduced significantly.

Intelligent Mark Positioning (IMP) is a patented camera system from our product partners, FOBA. With IMP, workpieces and their position are automatically detected and the marking or engraving adjusted accordingly.

Intelligent Mark Positioning or IMP

Through automatic mark alignment, IMP validates the part’s integrity, measures its position and aligns the marking relative to the part. In terms of reducing scrap, this process can be particularly beneficial to those users that have to strictly comply with defined processes. It is especially important in circumstances where mark position accuracy has a significant added value.

Automatic mark verification

IMP provides the capability to achieve pre-mark and/or post-mark verifications. Pre-mark verification prevents users from marking already marked parts. Post-mark verification ensures that the mark placement is accurate.

Post-mark verifications also check for poor contrast marks than can be caused by a degradation in laser performance or a change in material characteristics.

Two thirds scrap savings

With its consistently high processing quality and improved accuracy and efficiency, IMP can make major reductions in scrap rates.

To give an indication of how significant these reductions can be, one of our customers recently switched to the IMP system. With IMP carrying out the visual checks rather than an operator, scrap levels were reduced by two thirds – from 15% to 5%!

For full details of the Intelligent Mark Positioning (IMP) system and further information on FOBA’s range of laser marking systems and software, please contact