The metal fabrication industry requires unique marking systems that allow them to attain product traceability and identification due to the uniqueness of the materials they work with. The right marking solution for the industry should have the necessary features while allowing ease of marking and being affordable

Before investing in a marking solution for the metal processing industry, we will introduce different marking solutions for the industry and things you need to note to introduce innovative laser marking solutions for marking metals.

Available Marking Solutions for Metal Fabrication Industry

There are many marking solutions for the metal fabrication. Below are the ones you should focus on, no matter the type of material you are working with:

· Laser Marking Solutions for Metals


A laser marking system is the most common marking solution used in the metal processing industry. It comprises several processes using different laser marking machines, such as engraving, etching, ablation, foaming, etc. Generally, the marking solution involves using a generated laser beam to either remove the material (laser engraving), raise the material (etching), or color it (laser annealing). Common laser marking technology used in the metal processing industry include:

  • Fiber laser marking machines, such as the HS-FL10 and HS-FL20, use an optical fiber cable to amplify the laser before shaping and releasing it. As a result, they work quickly to make accurate and precise marks with a high level of clarity.
  • MOPA laser is an advanced and innovative metal marking solution for metal parts. MOPA lasers such as the JPT 30W MOPA uses a master oscillator to produce light before passing to a power amplifier to increase the intensity of the light. In addition to fine-finishing deep marks, the MOPA laser provides application flexibility as one can adjust the pulse frequency. This marking technology is highly applicable in the stainless steel processing industry as it allows the etching of different colors on stainless steel.

· Dot Peen Marking Solution


A dot peen marking system uses a tungsten or carbide pin to make deep and permanent impressions on material directly. As a result, it is suitable for creating logos, serial numbers, data matrix code , and time and date imprints on metal parts cleanly and efficiently.

Dot peen marking has a lower initial capital investment. Furthermore, unlike laser marking, it produces permanent markings with lesser contrast. Choosing the right dot peen marker depends on the size of the materials and the features. Hand-held devices are suitable for large metal parts, while benchtop dot peen marking machines are suitable for smaller parts.

· Inkjet Marking System

Inkjet Printing

The inkjet marking system involves using a machine such as the HS-PT01 to create a ‘jet of ink,’ which, on drying, creates smooth and fine marks on a surface. Inkjet printers are common in the metal processing industry when the parts do not require a permanent marking solution, as the prints generally fade with time.

· Chemical Etching

chemical marking

Chemical etching is another popular marking process in the metal processing industry. According to history, it is one of the preceding marking and cutting processes in the metal industry. It involves using an acid such as ferric chloride to remove part of the metal part. It produces permanent markings like laser marking machines and dot peen marking machines. However, unlike them, it is less precise.

Marking Solutions for Metal Fabrication Industry: Scenarios

Choosing the right marking solution in the metal fabrication industry depends on several factors. Below are a few things you need to consider:

· Working With Different Types of Metals

The metal processing industry deals with metals like aluminum, stainless steel, and bronze. Each marking solution is suitable for certain metals due to their mechanism or depending on the properties of the metal. For example, some metal surfaces are plated or coated to protect the metal from corrosion or rust, in which case laser marking may damage the coating.

The solution would be to do a deep engraving marking, such as using a dot peen machine before coating, then can do coating after marking.

In terms of the properties of metals, you can consider the following:

  • Laser marking machines are compatible with different metals irrespective of the hardness
  • Dot peen markers are not suitable for extremely hard metals (the hardness should not be more than 63HRC)
  • Inkjet printers are suitable for any metal, irrespective of hardness.

· Working with a part having a large size

Considering the size of the metal part will help you decide on the right marking machines and marking solutions for your metal part. Furthermore, this will determine the precision and ease of marking associated with the process. There are two major distinctions in machine size: portable and benchtop machines.

Since the metal processing industry deals more with large metal parts, portable machines are the best since they make it easy for the operator to maneuver and reach difficult parts. A benchtop marking machine will do the job when you work with small parts.

· Should the Marking be Visible

Each marking system has its distinction in visibility, which is a measure of contrast. Of the three marking solutions, laser marking is the most visible. While this depends on the type of laser marking, compared to the others, laser markings have a higher contrast. For example, laser etching is more visible than laser engraving, while laser annealing is more visible than all other laser techniques.

On the other hand, Dot peen is less visible due to the lesser contrast. It is said to be like laser engraving in terms of contrast, although laser engraving is a more precise method. The inkjet marking system is the most visible method due to the use of ink.

· Permanent markings

If permanent marking is very important, especially for metals used in a harsh environment, laser marking, chemical etching, and dot peen marking are the right option. Aside from permanency, laser marking is also more precise. On the other hand, an inkjet marker produces temporary markings. Furthermore, dot peen engraving machines can create deep marks and make the result more permanent.

Our Top Recommend Marking Machines for Metal Fabrication Industry

Among the different marking solutions and machines available, we would recommend the following machines:

portable dot peen machine
HS-PE series Portable Dot Peen Marker

Suitable Large Metal Parts Deep Marking

HS-DP01-R Rotary Pneumatic Dot Peen Marker For circle surface mark | HeatSign - dot peen marking

Suitable Small Metal Parts Flat and Circle Surface Marking

portable laser etching machine

Suitable Large Metal Parts Fast and Clear Marking

50W Fiber Laser Marking Machine

Suitable High Efficient Small and Medium Metal Part Laser Marking


The metal marking systems discussed above are worth considering if you want to mark metals of varying hardness. The application of HeatSign marking solutions for the metal fabrication industry is endless. Choosing the right maker depends on marking depth, part size, and function and with HeatSign, you have an easier way of getting the best machine for your metal part.

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