Here’s the thing. Labeling and food handling aren’t always a good mix. The most common methods for affixing information to equipment involves either paper labels or engraved steel tags spot-welded or bolted onto the machinery. Neither is the best idea in certain industries, especially food production and pharmaceuticals.
Paper labels can be torn or ripped off completely, which is a huge contamination issue. Plus, they are attached with adhesives that can attract and hold dirt, bacteria and even particulate matter from the last run of pharmaceuticals. Steel tags spot-welded onto the structure create a thin gap that cleaning solutions can’t penetrate, but can harbor a hoard of bacteria. Bolts are another favorite microbe breeding ground. Even the process of making engraved cuts into the metal can create deep crevices that allow germs to congregate. On top of it all, if you try to clean metal tags, strong solutions and acids can eat right through them, making them illegible over time.
The Laser Etching Solution
With our recent investment in a new HeatSign HS-FL30 Fiber Laser Marking System, we now utilize the power of laser etching on stainless for our system tags. Unlike engraving, the laser only reacts with the outer layer of the metal and creates an impression that is so shallow contaminants can’t get entrenched. A simple wipe down cleans the surface thoroughly. Etched marks on stainless steel can take on the strongest solvents, scrubbing, and even acid washdowns while retaining their integrity and legibility.
Each of our tags is raised like a table, with “legs” on each corner. These small contact points are welded to the equipment. This creates an opening under the tag large enough for cleaning solvents and tools to have complete access to the area underneath for a thorough washdown.
Aesthetically, the etched stainless steel tags are very sleek and blend in nicely with the lines of the conveyor, creating a clean, modern look.
Our Marking System
The HeatSign HS-FL30 has a 30W power output to provide a continuous and stable laser beam of the highest quality. A highly efficient metal marking device, it is robust enough for 24-hour workloads and provides long-lasting marking with superior clarity. Just what we want for our customers. Plus, the HS-FL30 allows for customized information to be easily programmed on the tag or elsewhere on the equipment.
Knowing key system information ahead of scheduling service calls or calling to order replacement parts allows us to deliver a more efficient process. Having a legible, sanitary and easily accessible tag is the first step. Laser etching is just one example of how we continually search for new ways to bring more value to our customers. Interested in learning other ways we enhance efficiencies in your production line? Contact us for additional details.