Project Description

Laser marking is used in a variety of manufacturing applications to mark product and part information. It variously covers laser marking, laser engraving and laser etching, which differ depending on the depth of the mark and how the laser changes the appearance of the surface, whether metal, plastic or some other material.

Our laser marking projects with clients over the years have taken us to a diverse range of factories and marking applications, from milling tools to bicycles, fire alarms, water meters and jewellery.

The Project

Our European client produces laser marking systems for industrial applications. If there are multiple hardware components, or even with a single laser mark, they may commission custom software  which the operator can use to control the laser marking.

In this case, their end customer already had an earlier piece of custom software written by a third party running at their factory. Our client asked us to upgrade the existing software to integrate a new ProfiNet robot system and additional control logic for marking high-performance steel parts on a new production line.

Our Role

It turned out that the source code was missing for the original software and, as soon as we had documented the new system requirements, we recreated the screens and original process logic in a new software application, before integrating communications with the robot system and the updated control logic.

We completed the integration and commissioning of the software at the end customer’s site in Sweden. We installed the necessary ProfiNet PCI Express card and drivers on the Windows target platform and brought up the new software. We worked with the field engineers from the robotics / automation and laser marking system manufacturers to put the new production line through its paces.

The Technology

We developed and tested the ProfiNet interface using in-house ProfiNet master and slave cards on a test system with a similar hardware specification to the target system, using a simulator for the robot.

The custom software application was a Swedish / English WPF C#/.NET application using Hilscher ProfiNet CIFX 70E-RE PCI Express card drivers and a proprietary laser marker interface to a TYKMA Electrox laser marker.

The Benefit

We understand that reliability and repeated consistent performance are important when it comes to an industrial production line.

We are familiar with laser marking and process control software. Our software has interfaced with complex workstations and conveyor systems, vision systems, proximity sensors and robotics.

We use a standardised architecture which separates the higher-level system process logic from the lower-level interface logic. This provides a stepping off point for your custom software development.

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