When looking for a provider of industrial marking solutions, a number of factors have to be considered. You have to ensure their services are reasonably priced and that you will get the exact results you want.
Ink-jet marking, dot-peen marking, and laser marking are the three most widely used marking technologies for automation. Here’s when you should consider each one of them:
The required marking in the inkjet technology is achieved through the movement of the parts beneath the ink nozzles. The system can be applied on a range of materials, and the process is easy to integrate and automate in production processes. From the cost standpoint, the inkjet system is relatively cheap to obtain and automate, but its maintenance costs, which include nozzle performance optimization and ink consumption costs, can be high.
Today’s laser marking technology is pretty compact, efficient, and versatile, which makes it arguably the most popular industrial marking system in the modern world. Marking is achieved by focusing a laser beam on a plane with the help of a lens and mirror arrangement.
Compared to other marking systems, laser engraving performs quite highly on the ease of automation and quality fronts. Lasers guarantee a safe, clean, and rapid marking process that is suitable for high volume production. The high frequency beam (usually 10 kHz or more) combined with the relatively small spot size can yield high resolution and high quality markings, which are required in the manufacture of diminutive products that offer limited marking space.
Also known as stylus marking or pin marking, dot-peen marking makes use of a carbide pin, which is vibrated at an extremely high rate on the surface of the material being marked. The method is often used to mark metals, though it can be used in plastics as well.
Dot-peen marking is generally useful in low volume production environments as it is more cost-effective than the other two marking techniques.
The Bottom Line
While cost is an important factor to consider when choosing marking technologies, always go with the system that guarantees superior results and can be used on the material you want to mark.