Laser-Marked PCB Labeling Solutions - When and Where
From an article by Brady Regional Product Management Andy Schmitt
When PCB board space is limited, the need for higher resolution printing and smaller font sizes (3 points and below) is also increased. Other operational and environmental factors, including 1) surface-mount technology (SMT) reflow steps requiring high temperatures, 2) wave soldering for through-hole assemblies and 3) washing steps that prevent the use of customary thermal heat transfer (THT) print, can all become obstacles. As a result, manufacturers may decide to further automate labeling tasks, along with pick-and-place surface-mount technologies. In all of these situations, laser-marked PCB labels become a viable solution in lieu of THT printed polyester or polyimide labels.
Printing Technology Comparison Guide
|Attribute||THT Printing||Laser Marking||Direct Marking|
|Initial Equipment Costs||Low||Moderate||High|
|Easy to Re-Work||Yes||Yes||No|
* Direct marking color contrast defined by substrate and laser marking mechanism.