The laser engraving, laser marking and laser etching industry have seen enormous breakthroughs in the last few years in terms of new products and exciting application developments.

We’ve written about some of these developments previously in a comprehensive blog post, but one specific application that deserves some additional attention is how laser engravers are being used to boost security for ID cards and other sensitive materials.

How Does Laser Engraving for Security Work?

Laser engraving for security purposes is ideal for identification cards, credit cards, sensitive documents and other products which require a high number of safety measures in place.

By using laser engraving, companies can mark their product permanently and offer their customers and clients the peace of mind that comes with such security checks and balances.

For ID cards, many utilize a multilayer format, and during laser engraving short pulses can alter the color of the lower layer’s pigments without affecting the top, transparent layer. This makes the process extremely versatile, giving it the ability to produce high-resolution greyscale images.

By using this type of procedure, companies receive numerous benefits, including:

  • Ensuring their products are safe from fraud
  • Utilizing equipment that works at a high marking speed
  • Producing high-quality images and text
  • Producing tamper-proof products
  • Producing defect-free products that are highly individualized for each customer’s or organization’s needs
  • Meeting the security standards imposed by national and international law

Another worthwhile aspect of this approach is the fact that laser engraving provides a high level of flexibility, being able to create and reproduce images and text in near-exact detail.

Additionally, laser engraving is becoming much more widespread in its use. Previously, dye transfer was the preferred method for creating images on identification cards, but laser engraving is quickly overtaking it all over the world.

Laser Engraving Applications

We’ve looked at some of the ways laser engraving boosts security for identification cards, but since there are other sensitive materials and products that benefit from the process as well they’re additionally worth examining.

Laser engraving is incredibly useful for a number of potential applications, including:

  • Part identification
  • Inventory control and tracking
  • Safety and warning notification
  • Loss prevention

With many industries having to work within regulations and mandates for safety and standardization, utilizing laser engraving is a surefire way to meet these stipulations.

Some of the specific ways laser engraving can impact your product line and its security, is through the engraving of:

  • Serial numbers
  • Time stamps
  • Individual part numbers
  • Component labels
  • Date codes
  • Bar codes
  • Sequential numbers
  • Specialized, industry-specific codes

As you can see, there’s so much that laser engraving systems can do for your products! But since ID security encompasses so many facets, let’s take a look at all of the various security features laser engraving can help to create.

Security Features Made Possible Through Laser Engraving

In an incredibly informative post, the site Secure ID News chronicled a number of the reasons why laser engraving is ideal for the security industry. Their rationales include the following:

  • Laser engraving an identification card makes it extremely difficult for someone to remove or change the card’s information in comparison to traditional dye sublimation printers.
  • Due to the sophistication of the procedures used in laser engraving, criminals are less likely to attempt fraud with such cards due to the expense and a lack of familiarity.
  • ID cards which utilize laser engraving cannot have their information removed through scratching or treatment with chemicals because the inner card layer is the one affected and not the top layer, as we previously mentioned.
    • This differs in comparison to dye sublimation machine methods, since when such procedures are used for ID cards the result is a material that can be affected by a solvent or through an abrasive agent, which can be difficult to spot.
  • Laser engraving also provides a longer shelf-life for images, since dye images can more easily degrade over time through temperature and humidity.
  • Lastly, by utilizing this method for ID cards, raised ridges are created leaving a tactile aspect to the card itself. This feature can be checked by any law enforcement officer or security official who has been trained in its location, allowing them to ensure the identification is genuine.

Where is Laser Engraving Being Used for Security?

As laser engraving has become more advanced, practical and cost-effective, more and more industries, organizations and governmental agencies are utilizing it to keep sensitive documents secure.

One of the most exciting features that can be incorporated into IDs through laser engraving is changeable laser imaging. Similar to a lenticular surface, what is seen on an object that has undergone this procedure changes depending on the angle viewed. This means additional information can be incorporated and duplication for fraudulent purposes is significantly curtailed.

Some of the locations that have implemented this laser engraving technique, along with others, according to Secure ID News include:

Driver’s License:

  • United States
  • UK
  • France
  • Sweden
  • Ontario
  • British Columbia
  • NWT
  • Nunavut
  • Holland
  • Germany
  • Poland
  • Ireland
  • Spain
  • Latvia
  • Italy
  • Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • Romania
  • Malta
  • Switzerland
  • Belgium
  • Luxembourg
  • Portugal
  • Norway
  • Lithuania
  • Turkey
  • Estonia
  • Alberta
  • Greece
  • Bulgaria
  • Slovakia
  • Sweden

National ID Card:

  • Switzerland
  • Hong Kong
  • Holland
  • Finland
  • Namibia

Passport:

  • Finland
  • Czech Republic
  • Singapore
  • Ireland
  • Switzerland
  • New Zealand
  • Holland
  • Lithuania
  • Latvia
  • Slovakia

Other Uses:

  • U.S. State Passport Card
  • Canadian Immigration Card
  • Canadian Passport Card
  • German Health Card

As you can see, laser engraving systems are becoming ubiquitous within the security industry. And it makes sense – with their offered versatility, safety and cost-effectiveness, it’s no surprise so many organizations are utilizing these systems!

Contact TYKMA Electrox today

If you’re in need for a laser engraving system for practical security purposes, be sure to contact TYKMA Electrox today.

Our experienced team will be able to assist you with anything you need, and can guide you to a laser marking system that will be ideal for your applications.