Continuing the thread regarding nameplate manufacturing, there is yet another alternative: laser marking. We use a YAG laser to apply graphics to illuminated aircraft control panels (a paint removal process) and to apply logos and other graphics to anodized aluminum parts. The laser beam vaporizes the anodic layer right off the aluminum, forming whatever graphic elements you may require. Bar coding and serialization is a snap. No muss, no fuss, no chemicals. The process lends itself well to small or large quantities. There are also some manufacturers supplying acrylic coated, pressure sensitive tape/decal materials that are approved for under-hood applications in the automotive market. If the usage is large, it is pretty easy to justify buying your own laser. For small users, there are many laser marking job shops popping up. I find your clinic very informative. Keep up the good work. C.H.
One of the reasons this clinic is very informative is because readers like you take the time to send me information. This column has always been about learning. As I said before, “If I don’t learn something new every day, I feel cheated.” Laser marking sounds like a “cool” process, literally speaking. Why didn’t I think of that? I must have been half asleep when we experimented laser removal of coating at work. Thank you, C.H., for your kind comments. But, most of all, thank you for the information.