If you have a manufacture and produce parts, marking is today not just an option, it’s a demand. The data code, text or graphics marked on a part make it possible to trace the product not only to the manufacturer, but to the time and date it was issued, part number, batch, shift, etc., during the whole product’s lifecycle. Proper marking outlives any labels or packing, playing a significant role in branding and quality assurance. How is it done?
Best Marking Solutions Shortlist
The time when parts were marked manually with stickers or markers passed. Modern solutions are more permanent, scalable and better suited for industrial marking and automated lines. To be short, the best of them are listed here.
For those willing to go further, the best solution for your application depends on many factors. First of all, the material type. Some materials like glass or cardboard narrow the list of solutions greatly. The longest offer of solutions available goes for metal. To choose metal marking solution, you would have to thoroughly look into many other aspects of the process such as surface, form, size, the number and the variety of parts to mark, the quality of marking, the function and further wear of the part.
At first sight, the best solutions are based on laser marking technology. A laser can mark almost any material, creates permanent high-resolution marks of any complexity, can adapt the marking to any size of the part. The automated lines value its speed and flexibility. Once you purchase a laser engraving machine, it requires no consumables and post-production. Yet, what seems to be a perfect method has its disadvantages. The major one is the higher level of investment in comparison to other marking solutions. As an intrusive technology, laser technology is usually avoided with parts used in delicate, high functional and safety-critical appliances.
Dot Peen Marking
The technology is a reasonable choice for metals and some other materials if the marking needs are not very exquisite and high speed is not expected. Dot peening machine easily copes with highly permanent marks containing text, simple graphics and codes on a plain surface, enabling the manufacturer to save the costs for implementing the equipment.
The solution has become a little outdated because of the poor mark quality which also is not permanent and wears off in time. And although the general cost of the machine is low, the expensive consumables will in time even the investment level with more pricey solutions. The specialty of inkjet technology nowadays is engraving high speed moving parts, where surface-intrusive methods are inapplicable.
A very easy-to-use and transportable technology, not very suitable for the automated environment, though. Recommended mostly for small enterprises with limited engraving needs.
The offered solutions are the most favored and reasonable for many enterprises and industries. As for the best one, the key to finding your perfect marking solution among them is revising once again your needs and setting the preferences.