Since its formation in 1982, Gibson Technology has built up an enviable reputation as one of the best motorsport engineering companies in the world. Previously known as Zytek Engineering, the company designs and manufactures high-performance race engines for various categories of motorsport worldwide. In last year’s prestigious Le Mans 24-hour race, all 20 entrants on the grid for the LMP2 race were powered by Gibson Technology engines made in its headquarters in Repton, Derbyshire.
When deciding on the best solution for the consistent and reliable marking of components used in its high-performance race engines, Gibson Technology enlisted the expert consultancy of specialist supplier Laser Lines to understand more about the different laser marking systems that were available.
“Performance and reliability are critically important attributes in the class of racing engines that we design and manufacture here at Gibson Technology”, explains Operations Director, John Manchester. “In case there is a problem with a component, we need to mark every part used in each engine with a unique manufacturing batch number to provide full traceability of when a part was produced, the material specification that was used and the engines in which the components have been fitted.”
Across the different classes of racing, Gibson Technology manufacture and service around 80 engines per year. Every engine is made up of approximately 3,500 parts, each of which needs to be marked. Gibson Technology needed to be able to mark anything from carbon fibre, titanium and steel, through to aluminium and plastic in a variety of shapes and sizes. “The consistency and accuracy of the marks across different parts was a very important consideration for us,” states John. “However, the speed and ease of marking was also extremely important to ensure that other areas of the manufacturing process were not delayed.”
Expert help from Laser Lines
To help Gibson Technology feel assured that they were choosing a solution that would best meet its requirements, Laser Lines arranged an onsite demonstration. Chris Ogden, Industrial & Scientific Laser Division Manager at Laser Lines, comments: “During this consultative meeting, we were able mark a range of different materials for Gibson so they could see the quality and consistency of the marks first-hand and evaluate the ease of use.”
John adds: “The Datalogic Ulyxe laser marking system came out on top. While there were many different systems out there, the speed and accuracy of the marks produced by the Datalogic system were far superior to the other competitors.”
In addition to supplying the laser marker itself, Laser Lines provided an appropriately sized workstation to Gibson Technology to enable it to mark both small and large parts and provide the required levels of safety for operators when the machine is in use. Training was also delivered by the Laser Lines engineer on the same day the system was installed and calibrated to ensure it was up and running as soon as possible.
“Being able to mark parts in the manner we do now has already had a big impact on our operations,” John says. “Reducing the process time from the shop floor through inspection and to actual assembly has been a big advantage to us. It was always really important for us to identify a machine that we knew would be accurate, consistent and reliable, and with the Datalogic solution we have met all those requirements.”
The Datalogic Ulyxe product line provides ideal laser marking solutions for both stand-alone applications and industrial production lines. It offers an integrated 6W DPSS laser marking system and thanks to its cost-effective, innovative design, it is the first choice in marking solutions as it provides the best price/ performance for plastic and metal marking applications.