One of the key processes in many manufacturing industries working with metals and hard plastics is engraving, where a product’s parts are marked with logos, numbers, or barcodes for identification.
Whether you are using the technology to mark metallic parts of a larger equipment, watches, rulers, plates, logos or signs, this technology has proven to be quite reliable.
But choosing which machine to buy can be challenging.
China boasts quite a number of companies making dot peen markers. Most models from China are consistently cheaper and more versatile than other choices.
However, you want to make sure that you are selecting the best option for your kind of operation in order to get value and consistent quality of marking work.
So how do you go about this?
Let’s find out…
A quick review of the dot peen marking technology
Dot peen marking systems engrave small dots on a given piece of material using a pneumatically driven pin or stylus. It is a high speed mini-percussion operation that produces dots which join up to form symbols such as numbers and letters.
A dot peen engraver makes a permanent yet low-stress direct mark on a wide variety of materials that include many types of metals and hard plastic.
The machines come in two types, mainly pneumatic presses and electric models.
The pneumatic presses are cheaper, but need an air compressor to provide power to the marking stylus. They are most suited for use by people who do light duty marking and don’t have high volume work.
The electric dot peen markers are more popular due to their ease of use, high durability, low consumables and higher quality of marking.
Advantages of dot peen marking technology
Dot peen marking allows you to achieve low-stress indenting which is a great option for sensitive parts especially in automotive, gas and oil industries.
The machines are flexible and programmable for automated marking, you can achieve adjustable marking depth and also mark through any coating or film on the target part surface.
The technology is also relatively easy to deploy with little or no expertise.
Things to consider when selecting the best marker to suit your needs.
Since you are already considering which option is best for you, you must have the intention to use it for specific applications.
Let us now summarize the things you must consider before clicking the ‘buy’ button;
1. Type of Material
Dot peen markers work best with materials like hard plastics, aluminum, and stainless steel and other malleable metals.
Dot pin marking is also more suitable for some industries than others.
It will not work on wood, glass, brittle plastic or ceramic. You may need subtractive methods like laser engraving for these.
It is therefore good to research and ensure that all your current and future use-cases involve materials that the machine can work on.
2. Price Ranges
Don’t make a rush decision to buy a machine for the simple reason that all the box tick when it comes to usability and other features.
A careful consideration of all the costs that you will incur until you start using the machines is a very important part of your decision to buy.
Of course, you will want to consider the price of the equipment.
But it would definitely be a mistake to place price above the other four considerations discussed in this article.
Combine reasonable price with optimal quality and service.
Chinese dot peen markers are very affordable. The machines come in the range of $ 950 to $ 5,000. The prices are different because of the different designs and capabilities.
3. The quality of the machine
There are several quality-based considerations you need to consider when selecting an electric dot peen marker:
The degree of integration of the machine;
Most of these machines need to be connected to external computers.
If this is the case, the machine will be connected to the computer probably through a USB cable, which sometimes results in poor connectivity and therefore poor signal transmission. This will lead to software hanging when an operation is under way.
It is advisable to select machines that come with all integrated components.
This ensures that the machine is intact during operation and storage, hence guaranteeing it a longer life.
The marking accuracy of the machine.
Accuracy is key in marking.
This is more so if you are marking sensitive machine parts or carrying out data matrix marking.
Some ordinary marking machines adopt the Chinese-made linear guide rail or bearing circular rail, which will result in substandard marking with even probability of deformation of the mark.
To produce hybrid machines with high quality marking, we use imported linear guides (such as the HIWIN linear guides), and 5% high-precision stepper motors. With this, we are able to produce high precision and smooth lines and a consequently better marking effect.
Durability of the machine
Another area where durability can easily be eroded is in the design of the structural parts.
Common Chinese markers have aluminum structural parts that give sub-optimal durability as the machine becomes prone to problems the more it is used.
High quality machines are made of magnesium alloy.
The structural parts are more stable and durable, and can support the machine to work continuously for a long time.
4. Machine operation and control
How do you operate and control the machine that you are selecting?
There are three main considerations here;
Most machines made in China use ThorX6, ThorX7 and K3 operation software.
These programs are sufficient for daily marking needs.
If you have unique requirements such as automation, online data transmission, database storage and identification, etc., there is need for your supplier to have the ability to deeply customize the software.
Do you want a machine that can be carried from place to place? This is more so if you are marking large parts, e.g. airplane wings.
Some models are great when it comes to doing outdoor work.
If equipped with a battery, some of these models can be operated and used more conveniently in the outdoor or power-free places without the need to connect them to a mains source of electricity.
If you need even more specialized features such as automatic marking, automatic lifting, etc., it is necessary to ensure that the supplier has the capability to offer more customization technology for the machine.
Note that more customization usually comes with additional charges that are not part of the standard quoted prices.
High automation can lead to increase in operational efficiency which can in turn reduce labor costs and make running the machine cheaper in the long time.
5. Marking effect and result
Think about the marking depth you want to achieve.
If you need deeper marking, then a thicker marking needle is required, and a more stable mechanical structural configuration for your machine is required to withstand high-intensity impact and shock.
If you need high marking speeds, only select machines will give you high-precision, identifiable marking results, and high marking rates.
Some machines achieve this by using three guide rails and high-precision stepping motors.
6. Ease of use of the machine
Traditional pneumatic marking machines, like follow one, are complicated to use and need to be connected to computers and air compressors.
Nowadays, the electric marking machine is more preferable.
It integrates the touch screen and software, and is plug and play.
The electric marking machine saves you the extra computer and air compressor component costs, hence giving you a much higher component integration, stability, durability and overall reliability.
It is our recommendation, therefore, to select electric dot peen marking machines over other types.
Recommended Industrial Dot Punch Marking Machines
Portable Metal Marking Machine HS-PE Series
Price: $1950 ~ $2850
Lightweight and portable, suitable for marking medium to large metal parts.
Best Dot Peen Marking Machine Suppliers in the Industry
The global dot peen marking machine market is expected to be worth USD 317.59 million by 2023.
This is because engraving is a crucial part of the production process in many manufacturing industries. Therefore, dot peen marking machines are highly necessary and suppliers who can guarantee quality are highly sort after.
There are many companies selling dot peen marking machines all over the world. Some have been in existence as long as marking technologies have been used.
Below are three of the current top dot peen machine manufacturers in the market.
Gravotech Group has been in the design, manufacturing, sales, and support of engraving, marking and artistic modeling solutions since 1938. The France-based company has a global network: a presence in 100 countries and over 1000 employees.
Owing to its merger with Technifor and Vision Numeric, the Gravotech Group is a global leader in a variety of markets in the engraving and permanent marketing industry.
The company has a broad range of solutions and a formidable international presence. Gravotech has 3 industrial platforms: the US, France, and China. The company has over 60,000 clients worldwide.
Gravotech’s dot peen solutions are based on 3 ranges, namely the integrable, bench and portable machines.
Their website is opaque on the machinery they have on offer especially with regard to the price. You have to contact them to get that.
There is no online assistant on their website for an informal chat. You have to fill a long form, submit it and hope they will come back to you.
SIC Marking is a public company headquartered in Pommiers, France.
It was founded in 1986 and operates in over 40 countries worldwide.
The company’s main expertise is permanent identification and complete traceability of industrial parts. It designs, manufactures, and distributes innovative industrial marking solutions that include dot peen, laser, and scribing marking equipment.
SIC Marking provides dot peen marking solutions in three main categories:
- Custom systems: This is the more versatile area where they have dot peen marking solutions for drive shafts, tubes, aerospace parts, heavy & cylindrical parts, tensile gauge, plate marking, and any other special needs.
- Standalone turnkey systems: These are markers used on aeronautical parts, engine blocks, and cylinder heads.
- Vin marking systems: dot peen marking on chassis.
- Traceability solutions: dot peen marking and reading of data matrix codes.
Their website is not very well outlined and you have to spend quite some time just to figure out exactly where to get information on price and other features before you buy.
HeatSign is a Chinese company that has been involved in direct marking technologies and marking machines for more than 10 years.
Advantages of working with HeatSign;
The company is highly customer-centric with a high level customer support system on its website. Finding their products and interacting with the team is easy and fast.
They have many types of machines, including pneumatic and electromagnetic models.
They offer low prices, and fast, reliable delivery, and German-level quality.
They also provide a warranty period of one year from the date of purchase. During this period, the company is willing to replace faulty parts with new or refurbished ones at zero cost to you, provided the damage is not caused by poor workmanship
They have provided machines to many industries, including the energy, aerospace, automotive, and metal processing industries.
They provide machines ranging from several hundred dollars upwards, and are a perfect fit for beginners, DIY enthusiasts and small businesses.
Let’s take an example. If you want to know anything about the logistics of sourcing dot peen machines from HeatSign, click here.
On bottom right corner, a virtual assistant (pictured), will be available immediately to chat with you and assist in answering your questions.
Their site also provides a free PDF file on its website to help you learn how to purchase dot peen machines from China. The purpose of the PDF is to imbue you with 4 key competencies:
- To identify the quality of the dot peen machine you want.
- To develop better judgment on the prices different dot peen machines should have.
- To understand how a particular dot pin machine’s configuration and structure affects the quality of its markings.
- To learn how to use “Chinese thinking” when dealing with suppliers.
Probably the only drawback as with all overseas suppliers, is the wait time especially if you are buying from abroad.
How easy is it to import?
The best deals when buying anything these days are hidden in the internet. In plain sight.
We have seen during the review of the options provided that some companies offer very cheap options for dot peen marking, while others offer more complex and expensive machines based on use-cases.
Since it is easy and fast to interact with suppliers online nowadays, it is easy to ask all the questions you have about every option they provide.
This could include the payment and shipping details.
You just may find that ordering in your home country is not as easy and cheap as importing for a number of reasons.
Let’s take Chinese manufacturers for example.
The question is: Do I buy local or do I import my dot peen marking machine from this China-based company?
You may find that the company you want to import from provides various payment and shipping methods. Their payment, contact, shipping and guarantee details may be very easy to find on each sales page;
Some overseas suppliers are highly customer-centric. They invest in strong pre-sales and after-sales support.
Others concentrate on a particular type of client.
If you are buying for a big corporation, you may mostly need utmost precision and integration. Cost may not be an issue, and you could go for local but pricey brands, which have several advantages;
- They give you the flexibility to ‘see and test before you buy’.
- You can get technicians from the supplier to come and physically install and test the machine in your factory.
- You are in the same legal jurisdiction and it is easier to get redress for any trade related dispute.
However, buying overseas has its own advantages;
- You can get a wide range of good offers for any type of machines.
- Prices are usually cheaper as brands strive to compete for an ever demanding market.
- With overseas suppliers, you can be sure that they want to protect their image and you will therefore get round-the-clock support.
- Companies that want to sell overseas also spend time and money establishing blogs, videos and podcasts about their products, giving you a lot of insight into the technology you are buying into.
When selecting a dot peen marker, start with considering your intended operation.
How easy is it to operate the machine?
What is the quality of marking you are looking for?
Is the machine durable going by its construction and operation?
Is portability a consideration? Are you looking for better customization for automation and other forms of optimization?
Other considerations include the after sale services your selected supplier is willing to give.
You will find very fast and reliable customer service here. And prices that match what is on offer for all the dot peen marking machines being sold.
That is not a brag but a mere fact!
Just visit here and find the best selection for all use cases!