Car and motorcycle manufacturers, businesses that deal with parts used in the industry, and some owners employ automotive part marking systems in part customization, identification, and traceability. Before investing in any marking systems, this article will talk about several marking solutions for automotive parts and several conditions in which they are applicable.
Available Marking Systems for Car and Motorcycle
Before we talk about the common parts and the suitable marking solution for cars and motorcycles, we will introduce the common marking solutions you would most like choose:
· Laser Marking
Laser marking is arguably the most common car and motorcycle marking system, with companies such as Ford using it to engrave serial numbers on parts for traceability during manufacturing. Many companies laser mark automotive parts due to the material compatibility, speed, and permanent marking, further contributing to their widespread use.
· Dot Peen Marking
A dot peen marking machine is another car and motorcycle part marking system, and it uses a stylus to make straight or curved impressions on the parts. Dot peen marking solution for car parts is prominent in VIN marking, helping to make permanent markings like the laser marking system. Furthermore, dot peen is reliable, like its laser engraving counterpart in deep engraving, due to its ability to adjust the marking depth by changing the air pressure and mark setting.
· Chemical Etching
Chemical etching is a metal processing technology that can double as a marking solution for car parts. It uses chemicals under high pressure and temperature to dissolve an exposed surface, leaving the desired markings. It is an accurate, precise, and highly reproducible suitable for only metal motorcycle parts
Common Marking Solutions for Metallic Car and Motorcycle Parts
Metals such as aluminum and steel grades are used to make several cars and motorcycle parts. Below are the common parts and the suitable automotive marking solutions that apply to them based on the material makeup.
· Engine marking
The engine of cars and motorcycles are made using aluminum alloys due to their lightweight, hardness, and durability. Aside from that, the engine has a complex design with lots of nooks and crevices. As a result, when choosing an engine marking solution, experts recommend using a portable one. Laser marking is the most common method. Chemical etching is also suitable. However, there is a limitation due to the engine’s complex design.
· Gear case marking
Gears are commonly made using carbon-steel alloys known for having a dull grey color. As a result of the material used and the component structure, laser marking is the more common method due to the contrast. Using a dot peen marking system and chemical etching is also possible.
· Marking of VIN on car chassis
For motorcycles and cars alike, the chassis is a framework that carries the VIN of a car, known for being a form of identification. A VIN marking machine or a chassis number marking machine should produce permanent markings since the number serves as a means of identification. Furthermore, it must be able to produce clear markings on the steel, iron or aluminum from which the chassis is made of.
Chassis number marking machines can be punching or engraving machines. A dot peen marking machine is a chassis number punching machine, unlike the alongside laser marking machines classified as chassis number engraving machine
The choice of dot peen marking solution over the laser marking solution is due to the deep engraving and the no-need of need for contrast. Nevertheless, laser marking techniques are suitable, although you still need to favor using a portable VIN marking machine.
Marking Plastic Car and Motorcycle Parts
Though metals still make up a big part of vehicles, plastics are slowly replacing them due to the need to achieve fuel use efficiency. Hence, car and motorcycle parts come from materials such as Propylene, vinyl, and ABS, requiring different marking needs.
· Fuel tanks
The appropriate marking solution for a fuel tank depends on the plastic in question. For hard plastic materials, permanent marking is achievable using a CO2 laser marking machine such as the HS-CL30, which produces a result like engraving.
· Tire marking
The markings on tires comprise letters, numbers, barcodes, symbols, etc., that help traceability and identification. To laser mark car parts such as a tire, consider the width, material construction, and other properties.
Laser etching is the most suitable method for the tire. This is due to the mechanism of marking that raises the tire surface, leading to a higher contrast. Also, laser etching does not alter the texture and structure of the material. However, you might need to consider the tire size if you need a portable laser etching machine for large tires.
Other types of laser marking, such as laser engraving, might be suitable. However, there is less contrast beside the technique involving removing part of the tire.
· Interior components
Marks on different interior components like seat leather, dashboard, and seatbelts help for easy identification. Laser marking is compatible with many types of plastics and leather. Fiber and UV laser markers are excellent marking solutions for interior plastic components. For leathers, you should consider using UV laser marking or CO2 laser marking machines.
Other Factors that can help you choose the right marking solution
Other factors can help you choose the right marking system for your car and motorcycle parts. These include:
· Best Style of Marking for Heavy, Small, and large parts
Marking the whole body of the car or motorcycle differs from marking the parts and component that comes together to form them. Due to the humongous size of a standalone car and motorcycle, you must get a portable size machine such as the 20 or 30w laser marker for the job. However, you might need a portable, benchtop, or industrial line machine for singular parts depending on several factors, including size, weight, etc.
A benchtop model may not give a seamless marking operation for heavy car and motorcycle parts. In this instance, it is better to use the portable or handheld version of the machine. A portable marking machine can be the right method for motorcycle and car parts that are large or hard to reach
Also, for parts that are easier to separate into smaller components, you can easily separate them and choose the right marking system.
· Do you desire color marking
The dot peen marking system does not mark color. Also, laser marking produces color depending on the material being marked. As a result, you cannot control the color achieved if you laser mark automotive parts. However, the MOPA laser, when working on only stainless steel, is applicable in color marking.
For a wider control of color marking, you might need to use an inkjet marking machine. However, you should know that the markings produced are temporary and that the ink should be compatible with the part.
Recommended Marking Machines for Car and Motorcycle
Laser engraving, dot peen marking, and chemical etching are marking solutions suitable for creating marks for aesthetics and protection on car and motorcycle car parts. Your choice, however, depends on the material makeup of the part in question.
Are you looking for the right marking solution for car and motorcycle parts? Contact us and get quality machines at a competitive price