What do DVD players, checkout lines at the grocery store, and industrial marking machines all have in common? Lasers.
But not all lasers are the same.
L.A.S.E.R. stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. In simpler terms, it’s a highly concentrated beam of light. Lasers consist of a:
Gain medium: a material that works in tandem with electrical currents to stimulate the photons of light as it passes through
Energy supply: Energy supply for lasers usually comes in the form of electrical currents. These currents are “pumped” through the grain medium to stimulate the atom as light passes through. The pumping of electrical currents causes the light to bounce faster through the grain medium.
A material to provide optical feedback: The materials chosen for optical feedback have one primary job: steering. the way the beam of light is directed
The next step is to understand how the marking system will fit into your production process. Let’s look at 10 process considerations that will help you narrow down options when selecting a direct part marking method for your project:
Ask anyone inside the industrial manufacturing industry – part-marking is crucial to component traceability when working with large quantities. And while several different types of part-marking exist, Dot Peen marking machines have been a preferred solution for many years.
At a high level,Dot Peen marking machines use either electromagnetic or pneumatic force to rapidly oscillate a stylus, in turn indenting the marks onto the surface of the part.
One of the advantages of Dot Peen is that it’s very flexible and can be used in either manual or fully automated production lines. A lot of the applications Dot Peen serves are manual applications, however, with modular Dot Peen systems, you can start with a portable system and later convert it to an in-line system for integration with fully automated production lines.
The Basics of Dot Peen Marking
If you took apart a Dot Peen machine, one of the most important components you would find is a carbide or diamond-tip stylus.
The Dot peen process is considered a “low-stress” marking method because the mark is generated via material displacement rather than material removal. The carbide stylus strikes the material surface to produce the mark via a series of cold-formed stamped dots. Compared to Laser Marking Systems, Dot Peen does not induce thermal shock to the part surface since the material is cold-stamped rather than super-heated to produce the mark.
Dot Peen systems are commonly used by manufacturers in the aerospace and oil & gas industries where low-stress marking is required, such as tubular and flow control products that are exposed to extreme pressure differential in the oilfield.
Dot Peen marking is viable for material hardness up to 63 HRC. Typically, when a part hardness is greater than 63 HRC, laser marking systems are recommended.
All of Technomark’s Dot Peen machines rely on an electromagnetic solenoid to actuate the marking stylus. Dots are plotted in an X/Y plane via electronic control for precise placement of the Dot pattern. Using electromagnetic force versus pneumatic also provides a greater level of control of both the depth of the mark as well as the ability to mark contoured or complex surface.
Dot Peen Marking | Component Traceability In Action
While these machines can run in-line and handle large quantities in an automated production environment, most are operated manually using a battery pack to go mobile.
The best Dot Peen marking machines utilize a fully electric design and that doesn’t require compressed air to operate. All Technomark Dot Peen marking machines feature an Intelligent Driving Impact (IDI) function that allows for marking on many different materials and finishes. The IDI function automatically adjusts and levels the stylus to the workpiece. Whether the part has a curved, wavy, or complex geometry, the stylus will follow the contour of the marking surface while maintaining a constant depth of marking throughout.
When structural integrity is crucial, Dot Peen marking provides a low-stress marking solution that removes no material when marking the part.
Why Choose Dot Peen Marking
One of the biggest benefits of a Dot Peen Marking Machine is its ability to efficiently produce marks compared to other marking systems. Other benefits of Dot Peen machines include:
Portability: battery-operated systems are ergonomic and perfect for smaller-scale operations or marking of large, heavy parts that cannot be transported to a fixed location for marking
Versatility: state-of-the-art Dot Peen marking systems are modular and can start with a portable or manual marking system that can later be adapted to a fully automated production line
Ease of use: Dot Peen machines are easy to program and do not require any advanced computing knowledge or technical training.
Permanency: Dot Peen marking process yields a permanent, indelible mark that can withstand harsh operating environments
Economical: Compared to other marking systems, Dot Peen systems are typically less than $10,000.
Integrating a dot peen marking machine into your production line will improve the productivity and quality of the part-marking process.
Wireless connectivity between marking head and control (Network-able devices that are able to communicate to other devices through wireless communications)
On-board diagnostic tools to help the operator know when it’s time for scheduled maintenance — protecting your investment.
If you have questions regarding Dot Peen machines or any part marking machines, contact us today. At Technomark North America, we have the experience to help you get the best solutions for your industrial marking needs.