The future in manufacturing is oriented to more flexible and adaptable systems. Customization is also a great challenge and a way of giving added value to the products. And aesthetic personalization is one of the main ways for achieving customization.
UV-Marking project aims at demonstrating that unitary customization (individual configurations/designs of each customer) is possible, by developing a new laser in the ultraviolet (UV) range that provides high quality marking on different materials.
A final user will be able to select or create its own aesthetical design (colour, size, text, pictures...) using easy ICT applications and these will be marked easily by manufacturers using the new UV-laser system. The marking process will achieve high quality on marks, and high durability compared to current printed techniques.
The new UV-laser system will help manufacturers with customized products, allowing shorter cycles, environmental friendliness, energy efficiency, higher integration and automation. One of the main goals will be to do the marking on-line at the end of the assembly line. It opens very interesting opportunities and possibilities for customization, but also for process optimization: delivery time, environmental impact, flexibility, shorter launching time, etc.
The marking customization will be achieved by:
- Developing a new laser in the UV range
- Adapting existing materials for having a better beam absorption
- Integrating the laser in the industrial process
- Developing a user application for demonstrating the unitary customization with real customers
BSH, one of the most important companies of the home appliance sector, will lead the project. They are the perfect validators because they use several materials and aesthetics for commercial purposes is very important for them. ROFIN will be the laser developer, which is a leader company in this sector. U-MARQ is an ICT company that will work in the software for the integration of the laser in the industrial process, and the user application; WIRTHWEIN and MERCK are leader companies and will work with plastic materials to improve the absorption properties and to obtain concrete colors different than black or white. ILVA and TORRECID will work in the field of glass and ceramic materials. Finally, 3 different groups of ICMA (from University of Zaragoza and CSIC) will participate as experts on laser and materials.