Lancashire based Fort Vale Engineering is a world leader in the precision manufacture of the valves and fittings for transportation in the Road Tanker and Tank Container industries.
The transportation of gases, powders and liquids, whether it is by road, rail, sea or air has to be safe. Stringent regulations set exacting standards for all of the equipment involved, from the vehicles themselves right down to the fittings on the tank, which is the specialist area of Fort Vale Engineering.
Product and component traceability are also essential within this industry and any markings applied to a part must be capable of withstanding the rigours of continual use within what can sometimes be extreme environmental conditions.
To meet Fort Vale’s own demanding criteria for product marking on a wide range of hatchways and inspection covers, the company turned to laser marking and machine building specialist ES Technology Limited.
Andrew Bryce – Fort Vale’s Director for Innovation commented “Having researched the market, we found that ES had the ideal combination of laser source, machine concept and expertise to provide a system with the flexibility, ergonomics and most of all standard of marking which we required.”
The ES Technology system is designed to handle components up to 600mm in diameter and 500mm in height. At the heart of system is a Rofin PowerLine F50 (50 watt fiber laser) coupled with a swivelling Galvo scanner which provides a marking field of 240 x 240mm. By combining the swivelling Galvo head concept with a series of programmable linear and rotary axes, the system is capable of producing marks in multiple locations on both the horizontal and vertical “neck ring” surfaces of hatchways and covers.
The laser is used to produce customer numbers, part numbers, assembly numbers and of course generate the individual customer logo’s on to the 316 and 304 series stainless steel components.
The system has also been designed to make part loading and unloading both simple and ergonomic. A large sliding guard door provides excellent frontal access and also additional access for overhead lifting equipment. Once a part has been loaded to the rotary table, the table is automatically moved to the laser marking position using one of the machine’s linear axes.
ES Technology is based near Oxford and builds special purpose industrial laser systems as well as operating a laser marking service for decorative, functional and identification marks on metals, plastics and ceramics.