Diversification not only offers benefits when investing. It also provides a way for manufacturers to better serve their current customers and attract new ones.

Consider the case of Syracuse, NY-based Gear Motions Inc. (GMI), a manufacturer that specializes in custom precision-cut and -ground gears for OEMs worldwide. Company products include helical, spur, pump, bevel and worm gears, as well as multiple types of sprockets, timing pulleys, shafts and splines.

Prior to 2019, however, GMI had to send all the gears it made to a third party for laser marking. This is because the company only used dot peening and engraving to mark parts. To better serve its customers, company management purchased a Model FL53 fiber-laser marking machine from Beamer Laser Systems and installed it at the company’s Nixon Gear Division in Syracuse.

The FL53 produces a higher quality mark with a better visual appearance than dot peening and engraving. This benefit is particularly desirable for customers that resell their gears at retail. The laser machine also enables GMI to provide data-dense marking—as is found in 2D bar codes and QR codes—for customers that require it.

Another benefit is the machine streamlines the gear manufacturing process by making it quicker and more efficient. In addition, GMI is now able to offer laser marking of gears as a separate service, to further expand its business.

The FL53 uses a 50-watt, high-powered LED laser to quickly and safely mark products in a wide range of intensities. It offers a 12.5-inch-by-26-inch marking area, and can accommodate parts up to 3.5 feet long with side panels attached. Larger parts can be marked when the panels are removed. GMI uses an optional 5C collet indexer for radial marking of cylindrical parts.

Founded in the late 1960s, GMI has grown considerably since the mid-1970s. Oliver Gear was acquired in 1973, followed by Nixon Gear in 1978. In the early 1980s, GMI’s Plastic Gearing Services Division was created to design and develop high-strength plastics gearing for the emerging business machine market.

The company acquired Gear Supply and Broaching, a California gear manufacturer, in 1988. During the 1990s and early 2000s, these businesses were either consolidated into existing facilities or sold.

A few years later, in 2005, GMI started the transition from a privately held company to an employee-owned company. It completed the transition in 2010.

Since then, GMI has acquired Pro-Gear Co. Inc. (a gear-grind-only manufacturer), partnered with KBE+ (a design and engineering firm) and acquired Niagara Gear, based in Buffalo, NY. Niagara manufactures spur, helical and pump gears for a large and diverse global customer base.

Standard laser marking systems from Beamer include benchtop, turntable and multi-axis models, plus standard and extra-large enclosure systems. Beamer also develops partially or fully automated machines for manufacturers upon request, and integrates stand-alone workcells with features like bar code scanners, conveyors, hopper loaders and machine vision.

For more information on laser marking systems, call 810-471-3044 or visit www.beamerlasermarking.com.