In the medical industry, medical markings are very important. High contrast, permanent marks are required of implants and medical devices and instruments. As such the need for these marks has become the priority of most manufacturers of medical equipment and devices.
Medical marking may sound very simple but it is not at all. There are special requirements for the markings. One of these requirements is the elimination of the creation of midmark hygiene traps. Moreover, medical marks should be able to withstand passivation and autoclaves. This means that the marks should be sufficiently permanent for ease in tracing the manufacturer and the material when medical implants, devices, and equipment fail in use.
However, the creation of hygiene traps is unavoidable in most marking processes. Furthermore, marking implants permanently is quite difficult because the marks need to be situated on curved surfaces. In addition, markings for implants need to be bold and clear for surgeons to easily identify them. Fortunately, all of these marking difficulties are overcome by laser marking.
Laser marking is basically done by medium to high powered lasers for permanent marks. Since medical markings are sensitive, these are only done with the use of lasers. With laser markings, low impact surface marks can be made without the creation of hygiene traps. Moreover, the non contact properties of laser marking enables marking on curved surfaces. In addition, laser marks are high contrast marks which result to clear and bold markings.
The need to produce special markings that are permanent, high contrast, clear, bold, can withstand passivation, and do not create hygiene traps is important in many countries, most especially in Europe. This is because medical devices manufacturers are regulated by CE marking directives. The CE marking is a requirement for all medical devices sold in Europe. The CE marking signifies that the product or device passed the European standards for safety, environmental, and health requirements. With these, there is a greater need for employing laser marks for medical devices and equipment.
Today, aside from medical devices and equipment, there are also a number of medical marking devices that are manufactured for the sole purpose of impressing medical marks. These marking devices do not only mark implants and medical devices, but even the patient’s skin as well. One of these devices is designed to leave a machine readable marking to a patient’s skin in the proximity of a possible surgical operation. In addition, all other pertinent data vital to the surgical procedure are embedded into the marking as well.
Indeed, medical markings have helped the medical industry tremendously. Aside from the permanent marks and labels that these markings provide for easier identification of implants and devices, medical markings have also provided a breakthrough in surgical procedures. With the advent of technology, there will surely be a lot of other practical uses of medical markings.