One of the main differences between galvo lasers and laser plotters is the production environment and speed for which each is best suited.
Flatbed lasers are typically operated as stand-alone machines, working independently from other production machines. The materials are taken to the laser machine, processed there, removed and processed further or sold directly depending on the product. Processing times also vary according to the application. It is common for one operator to work several machines. While one machine is processing the jobs, other machines are being loaded, or parts are being removed.
Unlike flatbed laser machines, galvo laser marking solutions are not commonly used as stand-alone machines, but are instead integrated with other processes in a production environment. They generally offer a number of features such as semi-automated work stations with round tables further maximize production efficiency and capacity, and reduce downtime occurring from loading and unloading. Due to the compact structure of galvo laser machines, they can also be easily integrated into production lines. Conveyor belts or other handling systems enable operators to process large quantities of parts in the shortest possible time.
Speed is a main advantage of the galvo laser. Galvo laser machines can process as fast as 900 characters per second, with a high level of precision approximately 10 to 65 times faster than flatbed lasers, depending on the laser machine model and application. This makes the galvo system ideal for applications such as industrial part marking that require fast cycle times and high-quality markings.
-Josh Stephens, Trotec Laser