Evaluating Laser Marking Software


Provided the wide use of laser marking systems special attention is always given to evaluating typically the hardware, system specifications, and satisfaction. What is often overlooked could be the software that runs these people.

If the hardware is the cardiovascular system and the limbs of the technique, the software is the brain. Basically “If the brain doesn’t work, our bodies doesn’t perform”. There is a plethora of laser software features to take into consideration. In this article, I’ll try to actually zero in on some of the most important elements to consider as well as why 1 item may be more attractive for you, based on your individual needs or even wants.

Firstly, there are 2 basic kinds of software that drive laser marking techniques. One is a print driver/post processor type that features very similar to the car owner you have on your printer. Another is commonly referred to as a “scripting” type where the marking system is developed within the software program and launched directly to the actual marker. There are 3rd party server scripting packages such as ProLase as well as SCAPS but also many laser beam manufacturers like Kevron as well as Control Laser develop their very own proprietary software which features with their equipment only. Within evaluating software, I like to crack it down into three components; Machine control, the user interface as well as image manipulation.

Machine management is defined as the flexibility to easily change lasing parameters such as wattage, speed, and frequency, user interface with external I/O, a program with programmable axis owners, and the ability to communicate with data source and host networks. Unit control is all about power along with productivity.

User interface refers to the GUI (Graphical User Interface) or higher clearly the look and experience of the software. This requires visual interaction between the operator and the operating system. The equipment included relates specifically to typically the efficiency of setting up courses and initiating the observing cycle.

Image manipulation could be the access to the image to be lased and how that image is adjustable for optimum output. This will include things like font selection, size sizes, editing barcodes along with fine-tuning graphics to be operated. Image manipulation is the most essential part of the final marking of high-quality results.

As we compare the actual print driver type using the scripting type of packages, the initial that should be asked is “what do you yourself, deem like a most important features of the software”. In other words, what is the key function that you absolutely, must have? Consider carefully your application. Is the most critical point the final appearance of the tagging or is the speed the greatest issue? Do you have a lot of images to apply or do the components in question need to be lased having a great deal of variable information?

In most cases, the benefits of the print motorist type are that often all these packages have extensive aesthetic editing tools embedded. Therefore you can quickly and easily adjust the settings for logos, images, and other objects. The cropping and editing tools could be similar to individuals you see in a traditional design package like CorelDraw or maybe Adobe and the screen exhibit provides a true depiction involving what the actual part may be like.

When you are satisfied with the result a final job is sent to typically the print driver which then conveys it with the laser control device. This compiling and need on the PC itself will not lend itself as well in order to high production processes in this the program is working hard to build up the marking file after which force feed it with the print driver. Print car owner packages are best suited for higher part changeover job stores and marking where appearance is the most important criterion.

The contrary is the scripting type. These types usually have the communication qualities in place that make them the higher quality choice for high-level applications. Integrators prefer coding-type packages because of the multitude of tools included that permit them to interface with software, PLCs, and networks. It is rather common, for instance, to have the genuine data be marked quickly downloaded from a host computer system directly into the laser remote and automatic initiation on the marking sequence to be set off by a command from a PLC. In some cases, there is not even a DESKTOP on the machine. The tools intended for automatic serialization, date code, and barcode development are generally better constructed within server scripting-type packages. Scripting applications can certainly be operated in a separate fashion however the image treatment tools are usually not as superior as the print driver plans.

So all this being mentioned laser suppliers are knowing that their software has to be user-friendly, flexible, and strong. Consequently, there is a crossover taking place between the two types. The printing drivers are becoming leaner and also meaner and the scripting plans are adding more artwork manipulation tools. Where performs this leave the potential buyer within the purchasing decision?

The very best assistance I can offer is to get an authentic time demo of the program where the salesperson shows you many “canned” programs but then helps you have some hands-on time in addition. If a salesperson is too ashamed to demonstrate the software this should purge a red flag. Some critical questions to ask during the simulation include;

• Is the program developed by the laser distributor or a 3rd party and who provides the support?
• Great is the documentation for the program?
• Can the program end up being generated offline at a distant location?
• Can the helpings of the program be pass-word protected at different ranges?
• If programmable axis control is required, how many responses can be programmed, and is that limited to certain motors or perhaps motor types?
• What sort of graphic file formats may be imported?
• What bar codes are supported and can they will be edited and altered?
• Are proprietary baptistère required or can the program accept standard True Style fonts?
• What packages does the post-processor understand if a print driver?
• Does the program require a dongle or software key?
• Demonstrate program development inside “ring mode”?
• Will the software allow the lasing details to be saved with the career?
• What operating systems will the software run within?

You can find certainly other factors to consider in your decision but don’t discount the importance of the software. The target should always be to get the most out of the laser system and the application and user interface are tips for meeting that crucial goal.

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