Laser etching machine for plastic: industrial applications


laser etching machine

Every material that can be engraved has its own specifications. To be able to achieve the best etching result, organisations must ensure that they use the laser machine that is right for that specific material. In this article we are going to focus on the laser etching of plastics. Laser marking is an ideal choice for the marking of plastic components – results are very accurate and permanent. Many businesses are unaware that they are sacrificing quality if they are not seeking professional advice on the best laser etching machine for their specific material. Engraving plastic, in particular, can propose a range of issues and ensuring that the marking technology is appropriate for intended use is vital.

Industrial laser engraving machine

Different machines produce different marking outputs. Many of the laser etching machines on the market work by creating a permanent mark on the plastic part by reacting with the chemical composition of the material. Using this innovative laser marking technique the result is a high-quality and highly distinctive mark.

range of plastic materials can be engraved on in an industrial environment. Common material applications include:


Material abbreviation













Polyether ketone


Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene copolymer










Polyethylene terephthalate



Many industries such as construction, electronics, packaging and automotive (to name a few) use laser marking technology to mark plastic products with serial numbers, barcodes, datamatrix codes, names and compliance stamps.

Examples of industries that use laser etching technology: 

  • Identification tags for cattle
  • Plastic tubes for plumbing applications
  • Printed circuit boards for electronics
  • Packaging for toys and other commercialised products
  • Traceability marking on pharmaceutical tablet packaging
  • Serial number marking on medical devices

Why laser marking over other techniques?

There are many reasons as to why a business may choose to use laser marking over other techniques such as dot peen marking and embossing. The non-contact aspect of laser marking ensures that the rest of the product does not get damaged during the process, the most intricate of text graphics can be etched using the laser etching machine.The laser can get to those hard to reach areas to achieve maximum accuracy. In addition, the design opportunities are much more creative and complex, giving businesses the opportunity to reflect the brand as precisely as possible. 

Purchasing a machine

There are many reasons as to why an organisation would bring their laser marking processes in-house, rather than outsourcing to a third party company. Two common reasons include:

  • Accuracy – product marking is essential for systems such as product recall and assembly line location. If you are relying on a third party to accurately do this, they may not be as vigilant as you would hope – this could have a potentially devastating impact on consumer contentment and safety.
  • Ease – businesses previously outsourced their product marking requirements due to the size and complexity of the machinery. Handling large machinery was time-consuming and difficult. However, laser etching technologies are now much more agile and easy to use.
  • Cost-effectiveness – bringing marking in-house can produce huge cost savings for businesses. 

NCBMarking has a broad range of laser technologies available for a range of material types. We have extensive experience working in a range of industries. Find out more today.