In this study laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is applied for depth profile analysis of galvanized steel sheet widely used in automobile industry. The effects of laser processing parameters, such as laser energy, laser spot size, and coating thickness were investigated to find out depth resolution by applying Taguchi optimization method. According to confirmation experiments of using optimum parameters, it is found out that experimental results are compatible with Taguchi Method with a 83% rate. Numerical simulation of the heat transfer equation is also performed for single laser pulse irradiation since the physical phenomena involved in the laser induced process can be more accurately studied by investigating the effect of single pulse irradiation on the target surface. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.