Two of our sourcing account managers, Caroline Ogden and Kate Donohoe, recently visited the premises of Qimtek members Thinklaser Ltd.
Thinklaser Ltd, who are based in Redhill, Surrey, are laser marking and engraving specialists who have been Qimtek members since May 2019. Operating within a wide range of industries, ThinkLaser Ltd offers a versatile service that can accommodate the engraving and marking of free-issue components in a wide range of materials.
Qimtek aims to visit as many of its members as possible, in a bid to understand and promote their capabilities better. ‘Aside from meeting the people within our membership which enhances our working relationships, I find that I learn so much more about how the different manufacturing processes work when seeing them in reality,’ said Kate Donohoe. ‘I get a better understanding of the extras involved: setting up requirements, time element of the process itself and all other factors needed, which I wouldn't really be able to see otherwise.
Kate and Caroline met with subcontract department manager Laura Hales who took them on an in-depth tour of Thinklaser’s facilities, including five different laser marking machines that use both continuous and pulse wave technology. Sample products were marked using every machine, in order to better illustrate the scope of services on offer.
In addition to the medical, packaging and automotive industries, Thinklaser works for household names within the aerospace industry, as well as marking and engraving well-known consumer products.
The first demonstration took place on a flatbed laser with a maximum bed size of 140cm x 90cm. Used widely for automotive and packaging applications, this machine is capable of etching acrylic and foam, whilst an MDF plane was cut and marked during the visit itself.
The second machine in Thinklaser’s portfolio allows for bespoke customisation of individual components, thanks to its enhanced pre-programming feature. Commonly used to etch medical bracelets and pendants with patients’ personal medical information, this machine is invaluable when it comes to producing unique engravings quickly and easily. Owing to the wide range of products that they mark and engrave for the medical and healthcare sectors, Thinklaser are no strangers to working with stainless steel, with a wide range of additional metals also catered for.
Etching of anodised and plastic coated components can also be handled by Thinklaser with ease, whilst the debossing of plastic parts is carried out in the space of one or two seconds per piece. Safety is critical when it comes to the use of lasers and to minimise the risk of injury to staff, Thinklaser has a ‘safe laser’ that will not harm or burn skin if it accidentally comes into contact with the laser beam.
In addition to the medical, packaging and automotive industries, Thinklaser works for household names within the aerospace industry, as well as marking and engraving a number of well-known consumer products. There really is no limit to the scope of work undertaken by Thinklaser, including small volume and large production batches of plastic, foam, wood, metal, card, slate, glass, rubber and ceramic items.
When it comes to the required designs, Thinklaser commonly engraves or marks traceability information, bar/QR codes, lot numbers, logos and company branding, although most engravings and markings can be accommodated. They also offer design assistance if needed, resulting in a service that matches their clients’ requirements.
‘The speed and accuracy of the end products produced by Thinklaser is incredible to see,’ Caroline Ogden explained. ‘It’s also really impressive that they cater for such a large amount of materials and applications.’
Perhaps Thinklaser’s exceptional service can be attributed to the fact that they also produce a range of laser systems themselves. Their machines are used within production environments worldwide and are fully customisable to the end users’ requirements. Thinklaser’s role as both a subcontractor and an OEM means that they fully understand the breadth of the engraving sphere, giving them the advantage of unrivalled industry expertise.
‘It was clear from Laura’s enthusiasm and passion for her work that Thinklaser are a well-respected business,’ Caroline continued. ‘Her knowledge was not only interesting, but also very educational from a sourcing account management perspective.
‘Being able to communicate with our buyers firsthand about Thinklaser’s capabilities is invaluable - we can confidently promote their services whilst also resting assured that our buyers will be delighted with their work.’
If you seek quality engraving/marking services, contact Thinklaser on 01737 826 902 to discuss your requirements. Alternatively, visit their website at www.thinklaser.com.