Laser marking process for aluminum wire

Bridgend, UK – In order to meet current weight reduction constraints, aluminum wire is being used extensively in the latest generation of aircraft. An Airbus A380 requires more than 500 kilometers of various kinds of wires and cables, and each section must be clearly identified in order to facilitate maintenance.

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Laselec's Ulys Modena marking machine and operator.

Laselec, on request from Airbus, has designed and developed a specific process for marking  of aluminum cables, which consists of laser pre-marking the spots. Until recently, the wire and cable companies used felt-tip markers instead.

"The main disadvantages of this manual method were related to the imprecise and non-permanent nature of the resulting markings, precluding any verification thereafter of the crimping operation. Pre-marking with laser-printed dots solves these problems, guaranteeing secure work and the satisfactory crimping of the contacts," said Laselec's CEO Eric Dupont. The process, which has resulted in several submitted patents by Airbus and Laselec, will be deployed shortly by aerospace wiring and cabling companies.

The use of a laser system for a permanent marking solution that does not damage the insulation represents a real breakthrough in the cable- and wire-marking sector. Widely used in both civil and military aerospace programs, this technique has proven to be successful in a number of other sectors, including the automotive industry for commercial, luxury, or competition vehicles.

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Marked cable.

Laselec has also designed a sample tester to verify the UV markability of cable and wire types currently under development and to carry out periodic inspections during production. The new EN 4650 standard underlines the manufacturer’s responsibility for the composition of wires and various characteristics that must remain unchanged after undergoing laser marking. More than ever before, the MT 200 is emerging as a vital tool for verifying contrast level after UV laser marking. The COMET system offers the ability to check the contrast of the markings on the cable.

Laselec cable and wire marking equipment is widely used by major aircraft manufacturers. With more than 80% of its turnover generated internationally, Laselec is focusing extensively on Asia and the North American continent in 2011.

Well established in North America, the company provides its clients with high-quality products and customer service from its main facilities in Grand View, TX, and its customer support office based in Queretaro, Mexico.

For more information, contact: Marc Ruddy-Thimon at infousa@laselec.com 

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