May 18, 2018
Marketing Specialist
Control Laser Corporation

Control Laser Corporation (CLC) Automates Laser Marking Plastic
at The Plastics Show (NPE) 2018

Orlando, Florida – May 18, 2018 – Control Laser Corporation had the opportunity to collaborate with Sumitomo Demag at the world’s largest plastics exhibition, The Plastics Show (NPE 2018). The week-long show, started May 7th, brought companies from around the world to participate. The Sumitomo collaboration involved Sajar Plastics, Rethink Robotics, and CLC. Each contributed their own technologies and expertise to create an automated plastic injection molding and laser marking station right on the showroom floor of the Orange County Convention Center. However, CLC was given only three weeks to test the plastic and set up a laser system for automation. This was right up their alley and the challenge was accepted.

Control Laser modified an existing laser workstation to accept input signals from Sawyer, Rethink Robotics’ robot, to know when to start the lasing sequence. After the laser marking completes, CLC’s software, Laser Marking Studio™ (LMS) sends a mark complete signal back to the robot to remove the part for stacking. A part like this is ready for quality control and the shipping department. “It is big ‘G’, little ‘O’, ready to Go!”, said sales manager, Pat Ryan from CLC.

This software configuration was completed within the three-week period before the show because of LMS’s extensive capabilities from development over many years. Within those three weeks leading up to the show, Sumitomo Demag sent plastic samples for CLC’s laser applications lab to mark readable QR codes and logos. After seeing the results, they had to have Control Laser in their booth. Although they had not tested the robot until arriving with the machine two days before the start of the show, it worked without a problem. This collaboration with Sumitomo shows how complete automation of plastic parts can be achieved by working with Control Laser and their engineering department.

The vice president of Control Laser, said:

“Control Laser systems are easy to set up for automation because of our software, LMS. We work with many large companies to create new systems, which has caused our software department to make changes to LMS. It has grown and evolved over the years since we first started writing software in the ’70s. This is what makes our software the best in the industry and we are continually working on improvements based on customer feedback.”

Control Laser is known for designing and manufacturing automated laser systems for various types of applications for several industries around the world. Since 1965, CLC has been at the forefront of laser system automation and design. From Ruby and YAG lasers in the ’70s, to new air cooled infrared fiber, CO2, green, and ultraviolet laser engravers. CLC has continued to provide complete automated laser solutions for companies worldwide.

Sumitomo DEMAG

Sumitomo companies are in the Japanese family of Sumitomo which can be traced back to the years of 1630. At the present time, the Sumitomo Group comprises 37 companies and in 2007 ranked among the five largest industrial groups worldwide. Sumitomo Demag is the plastics machinery division of Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd. They have been active since the inception of the plastics era both in the injection molding as well as the injection blow-molding sectors. Today, they rank undisputedly among the technology leaders in this area. In the Japanese market, every fourth electrical injection molding machine is a Sumitomo machine. With the merger of Demag, Sumitomo is now gaining a strong role in Europe.

Sajar Plastics

Sajar Plastics provided their gas assist injection molding system for injecting and cooling the HDPE pellets. This technology allows molding of larger, thick parts to cool rapidly while retaining their rigidity and be free of cosmetic defects. The high-density polyethylene plastic contains an additive, titanium dioxide, which reacts with the laser to produce a contrasting laser mark. For darker plastics, this would be a different process turning the mark a cream or white/silver color.

Sawyer from Rethink Robotics

Sawyer is a high performance collaborative robot used to execute tasks that have been impractical to automate with traditional industrial robots. Sawyer was designed to work in tight spaces and operate in work cells designed for humans. Built-in force sensing capabilities allow it to make adaptive decisions to operate safely next to people.

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