Utilizing an impact method of part marking, dot peen machines are primarily used for marking for the purposes of product identification such as through custom graphics and labels, 2D codes, alphanumeric characters and bar codes.
The process of product identification is becoming increasingly important in industries such as medical, aerospace and those industries which make use of international transportation. As a permanent direct marking (PDM) process, dot peening leaves a small depression in the material that color can then be added to. The best types of material used in dot peening are metals in the hardness range of 62 on the Rockwell scale, as well as some plastics and hard woods.
As a result of the wide range of materials they can be used on, as well as multiple design options, dot peen marking systems are utilized in a broad spectrum of applications including the identification of aerospace and automotive parts, metal tags and castings, as well as medical plastic molded parts and many more products. In addition, many dot peen machines can be integrated on production lines or in automatic or semi-automatic assembly lines or even test stations for efficient use in industrial applications.
Most often a pneumatically-powered process, the dot peen machine functions by means of a metal pin that is first driven into the material by air pressure, this force creates the small indentation. The pin is then pulled back and quickly driven into the material again in order to create a series of closely-spaced dots or indents. There are three main styles of dot peen machines: portable, bench mounted, and integrated.
The main advantage of a portable dot peen machine is that if the part requiring marking is very large or heavy, the machine can easily come to the part instead of the part having to move to it. However, they are not very practical for large production orders as the process can be fairly time consuming. Bench-mounted dot peen machines, or column-mounted, offer the advantage of being much more practical for large production orders, as they have the ability to mark a wide variety of parts ranging in size from small to medium.
Lastly, an integrated dot peen machine is the most advantageous for large production orders since they are integrated right into the normal assembly line, thus making the process more stream-lined. This type of dot peen machine is modular and can be easily fitted into many diverse types of production lines.