Metal tool marking machine is one of the most important requirements of managing tools in the industry. Some industries, like the aviation industry, have made it compulsory to mark all tools and consumables. This means that be it a fastener, screw, or a washer, each and every item has to be marked effectively. Thus, the importance of marking tools and consumables in the industry is of utmost importance. Here are a few regulations and requirements from the different industries that make metal tool marking.
Why Metal Tool Marking Machine is Important?
· Aviation Industry Regulations
The two major regulators of the Aviation industry are EASA and FAA. Both the regulators have special requirements for the unique identification of each tool in the inventory of an airline or a maintenance facility. This includes metallic tools, fasteners, washers and other such tools and products. European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has clear guidelines in Part 145 regulations regarding the maintenance of the stock inventory of tools with a unique identification. Similarly, the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) also requires the holders of a maintenance facility to mark and control their tools with a tracking number.
· Food and Medical Industry Regulations
Marking Metal tools in the medical industry is of utmost importance. Since September 2016, all class III devices and instruments that have Direct Part Marking will also require to carry a Unique Device Identification (UDI). Meanwhile, all Class II and Class I devices will require a UDI from September 2018 and September 2020. Therefore, all the entities involved in the manufacturing of medical tools be it metallic or non-metallic will have to put a UDI on their devices.
· ISO 9001:2015
According to Clause 7.5, all organizations are required to maintain a control document of assets that they have. For technical and industrial businesses, this also includes the tools and consumable parts that the company holds. Thus, all the parts and tools in the inventory list of the organization need to be kept in a record system. For this, you will need to mark each part in a unique manner. Therefore, you will be needing a metal tool marking machine for the purpose.
· Tools and Fastener Manufacturing Industry Requirements
Usually, metallic tools have to undergo a stressful usage life. this means that the marking needs to be done in a way that is rugged and will survive the harsh work environment in which the tools are used. This requires a tool marking mechanism that is substantial and passes the test of usage.
Furthermore, there are proper standards of marking numbers for fasteners and washers etc. These standards include NAS, NSA, NS, MIL, etc. and other such standards of part numbering. Each of these numbers requires to be in a standard manner as explained by the manufacturer. Therefore, you have to apply a marking technique that fulfills the requirements of the OEM when you are manufacturing the fasteners or tools for them.
Therefore, no matter which industry are you in, you have a need to mark your tools and fasteners with a unique identification number. For this purpose, there are multiple ways to achieve the task.
Metal Tool Marking Machine: Types
Now we come to the ways in which you can mark your tools and fasteners in an effective way to fulfill the regulatory requirements of the different industries. Here are a few methods, their Pros and Cons, and a few popular metal tool marking machines that you can use for marking your tools.
Fiber Laser Marker
Fiber laser marking machines for tools are the ideal machines. This is because most of the tools are made from metals or metallic alloys. Therefore, the fiber laser works best on metals and produces great results. Here are a few Pros and Cons of using laser engraving machines for tools and fasteners:
- Produces high-quality results on most metallic and metal alloy parts.
- Easily available in the market, with easy replacement and repair parts.
- Fast and contactless marking method that saves time and money.
- Can be integrable with existing industrial systems. Thus, saving you the headache of procuring a new manufacturing design.
- The markings on the tools are long-lasting and immune to harsh environments.
- The initial price of the machine might be higher than other methods of marking. However, the long term usage of the fiber markers makes the usage cost better.
- Special training is required for the staff operating the laser marking systems.
- Extra protection devices are required for the protection of the environment and users.
- The engraving depth is good like other engraving machines.
Overall, the fiber laser marking machines for tools are an ideal selection in the long run.
Stamping machines are another way to mark your tools and fasteners in an effective way. The basic idea behind the stamping machines is the creation of a stamp to leave an impression on the tools/product. Once pressed under the weight, the impression is transferred onto the tool. Here are a few Pros and Cons of the stamping machines for marking tools.
- An economical method for marking metal tools.
- No special training required for learning the use of the machine.
- Stamping depth is good.
- A good way of marking metallic tools.
- The stamping machine does not create high-quality impressions.
- Markings may get damaged with time and use.
- Contact marking method. The output is friction of the parts reduces the life of the markers and strength of the tools too.
- Requires make final marking content design before the product is ready for use.
Overall, if you want to invest low on marking your tools and fasteners then the stamping method is good for you. However, it does not offer the reliability and sustainability of the markings as does the laser marking scheme offers.
Another popular method of marking tools is the etching method. Etching can be done by using a chemical method or a laser method. In both methods, the basic working on the metal is the same. i.e. a small portion of the metal tool is removed and the marking is visible for the user.
- Chemical etching on the metals is done by the electrochemical method. Here the product labels are permanent and longlasting. A good machine for this purpose is the China Metal Marking Device.
HeatSign HS-FL30 Model is a good model for marking metals with the laser. You can check out the product details on HeatSign’s page.
Here are the Pros and Cons of the etching marking for metal tools.
- High definition of cuts and marks. Thus, the resulting markings are of high quality.
- The speed of marking is high.
- Generally, systems are integrable with your existing set-up.
- Easier to control via vector software like AutoCAD.
- Competence and skill of the workers is a must for those working with engravers.
- If not properly used, burning and damage to the product are also possible.
- safety precautions need to be proper before the start of the process.
Summing up, etching of metal is a good option for medium-size operations where thin materials are in use.
Electric Dot Peen Marker
Electric Dot Peen marking systems for marking of tools and fasteners is also a good method that is widely in use in the industry. The method uses an electric dot peen marking machine for marking the tools and fasteners in a quick and efficient manner. Markings of the dot peen marker are permanent and can pass the test of harsh environment usage. A good example of a popular Dot peen marking machine is the HeatSign’s Dot peen marking machine.
HeatSign’s Dot peen marking machine is one of the most popular machines in the market. The reason being, it is versatile, rugged and has full technical support from the OEM. Thus, you can sit back relax and let the rest to HeatSign.
Generally, like every other machine, the Dot peen marker also has its own Pros and Cons. Here are a few of those.
- Automatic marking process using the control from computers and software.
- Integrable with your existing industrial set-up.
- Programmable for various operations.
- Economical and affordable
- Does not provide fast marking solution as compared to laser schemes.
- Mechanical parts might need replacement after some time of use.
- The quality of marking is not as high as that of the laser engraving machine.
Summing up, the Dot peen marking machine is ideal for small set-ups, that do not want to spend a lot of money on expensive laser marking systems.
Things to Look Out for While Marking Metal Tools
While selecting a marking machine for metal tools there are a few things that you need to take care of. Here is a brief list of things that you need to look for while selecting the Metal tool marking machine:
· Type of Material to mark
The first and foremost thing in selecting a metal tool marking machine is the type of metals in your tools. Tools are usually of steel, stainless steel, titanium, aluminum or any other metallic alloys. Therefore, you need to see which of the marking methods will suit your needs for marking on metal or metallic alloys. Fiber marking is generally the best option to go for metals. However, it comes with large expenses too, so you can decide on the price you are planning to spend.
· Dimensions of marking
The other major factor is the size of the tools to mark. The handheld tools can be easily marked by using any of the methods described above. However, for larger tools and machines, you need to see a marker that can easily fit in on the tools.
· Thickness of material
The thickness of the material is also an important factor in making the decision to choose the right marking machine for metal tools. Thus, you can choose the etching marking method if the material is thin and not sturdy. Similarly, you can choose the engraving methods if the tool you want to mark has a substantial thickness and strength.
· Transportability of the Machine
This is one of the most important factors when it comes to selecting the right marking method for your tools. Most of the handheld tools will need a portable method as the most convenient method to mark them. Therefore, if you do not have a time constraint and want to mark your existing tools, then Dot peen marking or stamp marking will be ideal for the situation.
Furthermore, with the mobility option available in the machine, you can easily move it around and mark your tools on the go. You will not have to stop production or wait for the tools to get out of service before marking them.
· Accuracy and Speed
And last but not least, the accuracy and speed of the marking machine are of utmost importance. If you have a small setup, where time is not a very important factor, then you can choose Dot peen or stamp marking schemes. However, if you need bulk production and fast-pace work, then the laser marking system will be more appropriate.
Summing up, there are a number of metal tool marking techniques available in the market. However, you will have to make a selection based upon your own needs. Therefore, if you have any queries regarding the selection of the best metal tool marking machine, then you can contact us. Our team of experts at HeatSign will guide you through the various procedures and steps you will need to take to evaluate the requirement of your set-up.
So all you need to do is sit back, relax, contact us and we will take care of everything for you of metal tool marking machine.