Marking Machines for Quality Barcode Marking Process

A barcode marking must be highly readable. Therefore, you need the best marking machine for such process. At Heatsign, our aim is a quality marking process. Therefore, we provide marking machines that can produce quality, efficient, effective barcode markings. Below are two marking machines you should consider.

Fiber Laser Marking Machine

HS-FL20 20W

HeatSign Fiber Laser Marker

The HS-FL20 20W Fiber Laser Marking Machine uses a laser beam to create beautiful and permanent barcode marking on your product. It is ideal for a fast engraving and marking process on many materials predominantly metals and plastics.

  • Speed: 9000mm/s
  • Output Laser Power: 20W
  • Engraving Depth: ≤ 0.25mm
  • Marking Area: 110mm x 110mm
  • Power Supply: AC220V or AC110V
  • Efficient Air Cooling System

Portable HandHeld Inkjet Printer

HS-PT01

Handheld inkjet printer

The HS-Portable HandHeld Inkjet Printer is compatible with many materials and can lead to clear marking. It is commonly used due to the ease of operation and portability.

  • Weight: 0.89kg
  • Printing resolution: Max 600 DPI
  • Printing height: 2mm ~ 12.7mm
  • Variable number: 1-8 digit variable serial number
  • Integrated 4.3-inch touch screen
  • High definition printing effect

Barcode marking is a technique that comprises different methods used in marking material surfaces with barcodes. Efficient barcode marking comes with having a heightened knowledge of the different marking processes available.

what is barcode markingTherefore, this article will discuss barcode marking, the different marking processes and machines you need, and tips and tricks for a better barcode marking process. So let us dive right in!

What is a Barcode?

Barcodes are lines and patterns of machine-readable codes inscribed on a product or part. Depending on the industry, these markings have much importance. For example, in the retail industry, barcodes help prevent the spread of counterfeit products, product identification, etc.

Different Types of Barcodes

There are different types of barcodes, each having the kind of products and the industry they are best suited for. Generally, the major types of barcodes are 1D and 2D barcodes. Here you get brief details about each type of barcode:

1D Barcodes/Linear Barcodes

Information on the linear barcode occurs horizontally in a left to right. They have a simple structure, and they fall into two types: barcodes that encode numbers only and barcodes that encode any character. Common examples of linear barcodes are:

·         Universal Product Code (UPC-A)

universal product code (upc a)Universal Product Codes are perfect for encoding a limited amount of information, usually a 12-digit long code. The first eleven digits will give the last digit, which will verify your barcode validity. Universal Product Codes are popular in grocery stores as they are a unique set of codes found on only one product.

·         Code 39

code 39Code 39 includes 128 ASCII character sets, and it is an important barcode employed in healthcare, electronics, and government organizations.

·         Code 128

code 128Code 128 gets its name from the ASCII 128 characters because it encodes standard ASCII symbols and alphanumeric data. Therefore, it is ideal for packaging and shipping, inventory, and distribution.

2D Barcodes

Unlike the linear barcode, information in 2D barcodes occurs in vertical and horizontal format. The information also takes less space. However, it can hold up to 2000 characters.

2D barcodes require a 2D imager so for proper reding. Also, they do not require alignment. Common examples of 2D barcodes are:

·         Data Matrix Code

data matrix codeData matrix code markings are easily scalable and are capable of labeling small items. They also have a great storage capacity. As a result, data matrix code marking is commonly employed in healthcare, manufacturing research, and electric fields.

·         Quick Response Code (QR Code)

qr codeQR codes are a type of 2D barcode that supports alphanumeric text, numeric text, binary codes.

They are the latest trend in barcodes and are employed in different scenarios. For example, qr code marking is popular among advertising companies.

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Barcode Marking Techniques You Can Use

There are many marking methods ideal for marking barcodes. However, each depends on several factors. Below are the barcode marking processes you can employ domestically and industrially.

Chemical Etching Method

chemical etching method

 

Chemical etching is a common barcode marking process involving the use of a chemical etchant (liquid or vapor). The etchant removes the material isotropically or through anisotropic etching, thereby leading to barcode marking. Chemical etching is a common qr code marking and data matrix code marking process. It involves four steps explained below:

·         Cleaning

This is the preparation of the metal surface for chemical etching by removing various contaminants.

·         Lamination

This involves covering the place you do not want to be etched with a photoresist.

·         Exposure

Exposure involves placing the material in the middle of two “masks.” These masks contain the negative image of the barcode that you want to create. They let ultraviolet light pass through them, which crosslinks the film in places where the light was not blocked.

·         Developing

In this step, the chemical is used to dissolve the films that were not crosslinked. The material that is protected by the film is the finished product. The metal is then placed in the etch chambers, where the etchant is sprinkled from top to bottom.

Dot Peen Marking

dot peen marking

Dot peen marking involves using a dot peen machine to stamps a series of close dots to form the required barcode design on a material. The Dot peen machine makes accurate marks with little force.

There are many machines suitable for dot peen barcode marking. However, when choosing one, you must always look for ease of operation. Examples of reliable dot peen markers you can work with are the Electrical Dot peen marking system and the Hand held dot peen marker. Both machines are suitable for industrial use, and they have an easy mode of operation

Dot peen marking is a cost-effective barcode marking process. However, materials subjected to the process are exposed to mechanical stress (although not to thermal and chemical stress). Therefore, you should note the material suitable for the process before embarking on the process. Examples of compatible materials include metals, alloy (stainless steel), etc.

Laser Barcode Marking Process

laser barcode marking process

Lasers are great at creating marks on different kinds of materials, from stainless steel to bronze. Barcode marking via a laser marking machine involves focusing a beam of light on the material/product. However, the different mechanism of action depends on the different types of lasers marking processes available. Below are the three most common laser techniques ideal for barcode marking:

  • Laser Annealing

Laser annealing is a non-degradative laser marking process that involves using a laser marking machine to heat and changes the color of the material, e.g., stainless steel. It is a permanent marking process that oxidizes the material’s surface and creates a readable mark (barcode). The color impacted on the material by the process depends on the material and the laser beam temperature. However, standard colors include yellow, red, and green.

Laser annealing is ideal and widely applicable in qr code marking, and data mark code marking, especially when the product requires a smooth surface after marking.

  • Laser Etching and Laser Engraving

laser etching and engraving

(laser etching and laser engraving)

Laser etching and Laser engraving are unlike laser annealing as they are degradative, and the marked part/product surface is not smooth.

Laser engraving involves using a laser engraver to remove materials from the component’s surface. It is ideal for qr code marking; therefore, laser engraved qr codes are a common sight industrially. In qr code marking, a qr code engraving machine removes a part of the material to form the codes.

Laser etching is also like laser engraving. However, unlike laser engraving, it leads to a raised mark on the surface of the product/part. In terms of QR codes, a laser etched QR code is also like a laser-engraved QR code. However, it has a raised surface.

Laser engraved and laser etched barcode markings are permanent. However, care must be taken based on the materials to be used for. For example, laser etching and laser engraving are not popular with marking stainless steel when anti-rust and anti-corrosive properties are needed.

 

The laser marking process is the most common barcode marking process used industrially due to the permanent marking. However, it can be very costly and is material-dependent. For the best laser barcode marking, you can use the Fl10 fiber laser making or the Fl20 fiber making machine. The machine named above is an effective qr code laser engraving machine. Therefore, they are perfect for making a laser engraved qr code.

Inkjet Printing

Inkjet printing is the method used in encoding a component by applying color pigments using an inkjet printer such as the handheld inkjet printer. It has a wide variety of material compatibility, although it is not compatible with Teflon and silicon-containing materials due to ineffective adhesion.

While it is ideal for barcode marking, it can be costly since there is a type of ink for each material.

The mechanism of action involves the print head firing ink present in a solvent to the material surface. The ink is in a solvent, and on drying up, it forms a small matrix on the part.

There are two types of inkjet printing methods: Drop-on-demand and Continuous method.

The continuous inkjet is ideal for data matrix code marking. It involves pressing single droplets of inks through a jet to charge them. Consequently, the droplets of ink deflect to the required position because of two electrically charged deflection plates. In addition, continuous inkjet printing is one-dimensional. Therefore, the print head or the part will need to move.

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How You Can Choose the Right Barcode Marking Method

how you can choose the right barcode marking method

You are already familiar with the different barcodes and the different barcode marking processes you can use. However, choosing the right barcode marking method comes with understanding other factors. Below are a few important factors to consider:

●        Type of Material

The type of materials you want to mark plays a huge role in the barcode marking method you can employ. For example, laser marking methods is compatible with most materials since it is a non-contact process. However, when dealing with stainless steel, the anti-corrosive property is a deciding factor. Also, the dot peening marking process exposes materials to mechanical stress. Therefore, the materials you can subject to such a method must be compatible with it. Also, reflective surfaces are not ideal for barcode marking.

●        The Type of Codes

There are different levels of accuracy of the listed barcode marking process with each code. Consequently, this plays a huge role in the type of barcode marking process you can use. For example, laser marking is highly accurate. Therefore, it is the most common barcode marking process. Consequently, it is highly recommended for qr code marking and data matrix code marking. It would be best if you tailored the accuracy you desire with other factors listed below.

●        Other Properties

Other barcode properties you must consider are barcode size and color. The size of the barcode must make it readable. In terms of color, most designers do not make colorful barcodes. If you want a colorful barcode, laser annealing and inkjet printing are the most common barcode marking procedures that can give you the highest quality.

●       Cost

The code of marking products with barcodes also plays a huge role in the barcode marking process you can use. Laser marking is the costliest method, even though it boasts high accuracy. The dot peen method is the most cost-effective. However, it cannot mark materials that have an aversion to mechanical stress.

Get the Best in Terms of Barcode Marking

Barcodes have much importance in industrial settings as they improve efficiency, saves time, and make traceability easy. Consequently, they are important parts of the automotive, aerospace, and engineering industries for many reasons.

This article discussed barcodes and the different barcode marking processes you can use. Are you looking for the best barcode marking machine, either for qr code marking machine, data matrix code marking machine? Then Heatsign is your best bet. We guarantee you an error-free process with quality and reliable production.