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PCB labeling using laser (CO2 or fiber)

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PCB labeling using laser (CO2 or fiber) | 27 March, 2012

Have you got some experience with using laser (CO2 or fiber one) to label with barcode your PCBs ?

So far I thought it is easy process but now we do tests with many PCBs covered with diffrent soldermasks and fiber laser as well as CO2 has same problems with repeativity, quality, contrast, etc.

What are general rules to use succesfully laser labeling on PCBs ? Should we burn barcode on:

- bare laminate (needed changes in PCB manufacturing documentation - exposed copper (but it can fade with time and bar code will be hard to read

- soldermask (but there are many diffrent kinds of SM, each needed to be burned with diffrent parameters)

Thanks in advance with feedback

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PCB labeling using laser (CO2 or fiber) | 29 March, 2012

In a previous life we burned bar-codes on PCB with a CO2 laser. Initially we placed a small white epoxy pad to burn the code into. After some experimentation we found that we could eliminate the epoxy and just burn through the soldermask and the underlying copper would give good enough contrast to read. You have to be careful on the depth of the burn so you don't create a hot-spot in the copper. We didn't have any problems with repeatability, and we used 2 different laser suppliers. We also used 2D and linear barcodes, but again, we didn't have repeatability. Might want to get the laser mfg in to get their assistance.

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