Why Laser Marking Matters to Medical Industry?

Official EM-Smart Blog
5 min readDec 14, 2021

Thousands of pieces of equipment, devices, and instruments are used every day in hospitals and medical facilities to enable employees and doctors to execute their tasks. It is critical to identify each of them and put them to their intended use, which is why they must be tagged.

Marking ensures patient safety, holds employees accountable, makes it simple for the maintenance team to service medical equipment, assists the procurement department in procuring the proper equipment at the right time, and records the manufacturer’s information. The use of a laser marking machine saves time for everyone and ensures that medical institutions and hospitals work efficiently.

a 20W fiber laser marking machine

Marking with a laser

There are several methods for marking equipment, but laser marking is the most effective. The use of laser beams to label equipment, tools, devices, parts, and materials is known as laser marking. Laser branding, unlike stickers and the like, is long-lasting. It is indestructible. It can withstand abrasive chemicals, moisture, heat, and other extreme circumstances that can cause other types of labeling to fail. Learn how to use lasers to mark your business.

The Importance of Laser Marking

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated laser tagging of medical equipment in 2013. This is due to the necessity to identify and track all medical equipment. The FDA stipulates that the marks (logo, alphanumeric content, and 2D code) must be legible to both machines and humans. Take a look at the 7 benefits of laser branding for your company.

EM-Smart‘s FDA Certificate

Unique Device Identification

The FDA mandates that all medical devices be labeled with a Unique Device Identification number (UDI). This “unique identifier” contains the manufacturer’s name, the product’s make or model, the expiry date (if applicable), and any unique features.

The government establishes criteria for labeling equipment with unique IDs, and these marks are nearly everywhere in the medical industry, from the tiniest implants to the largest machines. Laser marking is required. What’s the difference between laser engraving and laser marking?

How to Laser Mark

Laser marking can be done on selected or specially prepared plastic surfaces, metallic ones, and even on delicate materials like foil and laminate. Contrary to other forms of labeling, laser marking does not involve any contact. All types are done by use of beams. The material or surface to be labelled determines the type of laser mark that will be made. See how laser marking is helping to the Automotive industry!

EM-Smart Applies to all industry

Types of Laser Marking:

Foaming

This is done by melting and it works on dark plastics. The marked area becomes lighter than the rest of the plastic

Engraving

This process makes an etch by melting and evaporating, leaving behind an impression of the design, logo, numbers, and text.

A coin engraved by EM-Smart

Carbonizing

This works by leaving darker marks and it works best on wooden or leather surfaces.

Staining

This kind of marking is done by causing the heat effect. The marked parts change color — like it happens when you burn something.

Annealing

This is exclusively done on metals and it involves heating. On exposure to laser beams, the surface undergoes oxidation due to the heat effect, and then it changes color.

Removing

As the name suggests, this kind of marking is done by getting rid of the topcoat of material and it’s most preferred on laminates, foils, metals that are coated, and anodized aluminum (aluminum that has been made to be resistant to corrosion, and durable).

Different Effects by EM-Smart

Benefits of Laser Marking Medical Instruments

1. Counters the purchase of counterfeit products which might compromise outcomes and even endanger the safety of patients. It protects the trademark of all medical equipment and devices, ensuring that medical facilities, hospitals, and pharmacies are able to tell if they have the original or not.

2. Makes tracing medical devices easy and therefore in the instances of recalling malfunctioning equipment or devices, the process is simpler and successful.

3. It protects the trademark of all medical equipment and devices, ensuring that medical facilities, hospitals, and pharmacies are able to tell if they have the original or not.

4. Makes it possible for FDA to enforce compliance with the regulations that have been set.

5. It makes it easy for users to identify manufacturers, and get details of given medical equipment.

6. Laser marking is a non-contact form of labeling so, it leaves even the most delicate of devices intact.

7. Laser marking is permanent so in cases of product liability, the manufacturer can be traced.

9. Since laser marking is guided, precision is guaranteed. That means all medical equipment, tools, and devices that are marked off the same kind bear the same mark on the same spot.

10. Manufacturers are able to trace their products and get important data — like how they are performing and if they have any defects. Such useful information can influence or inform future innovation and, or modification.

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