If you’re in the market for an automated part marking machine, it’s important to select the right one for your business needs. There are a variety of machines on the market, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.
In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of automated part engraving machines and help you decide which is best for your business.
Laser markers are one of the most popular types of marking systems. They are fast and can mark a variety of materials, including metals, plastics, paper, and ceramics. Lasers also produce high-quality marks that are easy to read. However, laser markers can be expensive and require regular maintenance.
Advantages of Laser Markers
- High-quality marks: Lasers produce clean, crisp marks that are easy to read. This makes them ideal for the marking process that requires precision.
- Versatile: Laser markers can mark a variety of materials, including metals, plastics, and ceramics.
- High speed: laser markers are fast and can mark a direct part in less than a second.
- Easy to use: Lasers are easy to operate and do not require any special training.
Disadvantages of Laser Markers
- Expensive: laser markers can be expensive to purchase and need technical configuration if it is for a simple assembly line.
- Requires regular maintenance: Laser marking machine is no maintenance, Laser engravers or cutters require regular cleaning and calibration to maintain their accuracy. If not properly maintained, lasers can produce poor-quality marks.
Ink Jet markers are a more affordable option than laser markers and are good for permanent marking on soft materials, such as fabrics. However, they can’t create permanent marks metals or other hard surfaces. In some materials, Inkjet markers also produce low-quality marks that are difficult to read. Here are the advantages:
Advantages of Inkjets
- Fast – The most rapid industrial inkjet printers are those that operate continuously. Some inkjet markers may produce up to 2,090 feet of material per minute on a 24/7 production line. This is critical for identifying items in industries like food or pharmaceuticals.
- Immediate Ink Drying- It’s an important consideration for industries that cannot have any smudging or bleeding. Inkjet markers with this technology produce quick-drying ink so you don’t have to worry about long-term production stoppages waiting for inks to dry.
- Non-Contact Printing – With inkjet marking, there’s no need to worry about damage due to the marking printers coming in contact with the parts. The ink is applied in a non-contact method so the product remains clean and undamaged.
- Versatile – Continuous inkjet printing is typically done on irregularly shaped products, rather than smooth packages and boxes. Furthermore, the many available ink choices (for food, with ethanol, for plastic, alcohol resistant, UV-resistant, washable, etc.) make continual inkjet printing an attractive alternative for a wide range of applications regardless of sector.
- The main disadvantage of inkjet printers is the high cost of ownership. Inkjets require regular replacement of expensive printer cartridges, which can offset any savings achieved through lower purchase prices.
- Some inkjets produce low-quality marks that are difficult to read, especially at long distances or on curved surfaces. Finally, they can’t create permanent marks on metals or other hard surfaces.
Despite these disadvantages, inkjet printers are becoming an increasingly popular option for part marking, especially in light of their many advantages over other methods like laser printing.
For businesses that need a rapid and high-quality printer that can mark on a wide range of materials, inkjet is the way to go.
Pad Printing Machines
Pad printing machines are a good option for businesses that need to mark large quantities of parts. They are fast and can mark a wide variety of materials. However, pad printing machines can be expensive and require regular maintenance.
Pad printing is fast and can mark a wide variety of materials. It’s also less expensive than laser marking or dot peen marking, but it does require more regular maintenance to keep the plates in good condition. A pad printer usually lasts for about five years.
Pad printing machines are fast and can mark a wide variety of materials. However, they require regular maintenance to keep the plates in good condition.
A pad printer usually lasts for about five years before needing replacement parts or repairs. They also tend to be less durable than laser marking machines because they use pads instead of lasers.
There are a variety of stamping machines on the market, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. The best machine for your production process needs will depend on the type of parts you need to mark, the volume of production, and other factors.
Die-stamping machines are the most common type of stamping machine. They are used to mark parts with text or symbols. They are used to mark parts with text or symbols.
Rotary engraving machines use rotating bits to mark metal, plastic, or glass surfaces. They are slower than other types of stamping machines, but they produce a high-quality finish.
Stamping machines offer an easy and affordable option for part marking. They’re reliable, can handle a variety of materials well (even tough ones), plus they make your parts look professional with their trademarked “stamp” shape!
Stamping machines are slow and can only mark a small number of parts per minute. This makes them unsuitable for high-volume production lines. Additionally, they cannot mark complex parts or designs.
Stamping machines can only mark one part at a time and require manual loading and unloading of the part. This makes them unsuitable for high-volume production lines that need to be fully automated.
Stamping machines cannot mark complex parts or designs. This makes them unsuitable for high-volume production lines that need to be fully automated. Stamping machines can only mark one part at a time and require manual loading.
Dot Peen Marker
Another common type of part engraving machine is the dot peening marker. Dot peen markers are less expensive than laser markers. They can mark a variety of materials, including metals and plastics during production processes.
However, they cannot mark ceramics or glass. In some soft material or uneven surface, dot peen markers also will produce low-quality marks that are difficult to read.
Dot peen markers are less expensive than fiber laser markers and they can mark a variety of materials, including metals such metal tags, valves, tubes, and some plastics. Dot Peen Markers also can create some deep markings on metals.
The biggest disadvantage of dot peen markers is the mark quality when it engrave small characters. When you mark very small size content, this type of marker leaves behind indentations in the material being marked which makes for a less readable finish (especially when compared to other types of marking machines).
Another disadvantage is size. Because most dot peen markers need connect compressed air and connect electric power source, some models you also need connect computer, so they’re usually less portable than other types like portable laser engravers.
Finally, as industrial design, dot peen markers can be more reliable than other types of automated marking machines.
So, how do you choose the perfect machine?
The most important factors to consider when choosing a part marking system are:
Your company’s production volume and the equipment that you already own. A high-production operation and manufacturing process may need a fully automatic system with multiple stations for loading, unloading, inspecting, and engraving the parts. Whereas a smaller operation may only require a single station.
Consider the size and shape of the parts that need to be engraved, as well as their material type. Metal parts can be marked much more quickly than plastic or glass ones.
Smaller items are also easier to engrave than larger items are. You should consider whether your company needs an automated machine that will handle a variety of part sizes and shapes or one which is specifically tailored to your needs.
It is also vital to consider what type of marking do you want for each part. There are many different types of markings such as bar codes, serial numbers, data matrix codes, or text on both sides.
When deciding which marking equipment to choose, think about how much space you have available for the machine to work with on your parts.
It may be more cost-efficient if there’s less space needed so that it can be bought at a lower price point than what would’ve been required if more room was necessary.
The next thing to consider is whether or not your company will need a warranty from the manufacturer, if so, what kind? You should also ask yourself what type of maintenance on this machine is required after purchase, and how often will it be needed?
Last but not least: think about the future. What are your plans for growth as an organization over time? Will there ever come a point where you’ll have to upgrade from manual marking to an automated system? What other applications could this machine be used for besides part marking in our industry?
Which machine is best for your business? That depends on your specific needs and budget. If you want a permanent mark, choose a machine that will produce the highest quality of marking method. Contact us today to discuss your options on complete system engineering and find the best machine for you.