Many businesses today, especially in fields such as medical, automotive or aerospace, will not purchase inadequately marked products from suppliers as verification and quality are imperative. The systems used in marking include a wide variety of marking tools which emboss, engrave, etch, stamp or otherwise create designs on surfaces of metals, glass, plastics, marble, paper and other materials.
Many techniques are employed in the process of marking, including laser marking, press marking, roll marking, stylus marking and nameplate marking. The method of marking will be chosen based on the material being processed, the intended use and lifespan of the material, and the amount of detail required in the labeling mark. Marking systems will vary according to the requirements of the customer.
For precision machinery required in applications such as medical or aerospace, methods of marking that do not alter the surface of an object are necessary. Other applications that are more rugged, and use more durable materials may require engraving or embossing marking methods in order to ensure the longevity of the identifying mark.
Systems can be designed for manual use, low or high volume needs, or integrated as part of an existing automated production system.The different types of marking systems vary widely. Laser markers use laser wavelengths to mark an object, and as they do not require tool bits or engraving edges are considered a sustainable method of marking.
Selecting a laser marking system includes finding the correct wavelength for the material and surface being marked; coated metals and uncoated metals require different wavelengths in order for successful marking to occur. Press marking is not suitable for more delicate objects as it uses a hydraulic ram to create an impression, or imprint, on a part.
Roll marking uses rollers or type holders that press designs in either round or flat materials, while rotary marking is used mainly for circular or spherical parts. Stylus marking is most commonly used in image creation as many sizes of marking heads are able to be used. They are rapidly pressed or dragged across the material distorting the surface and creating the design. These machines may be handheld, although larger stylus systems are also used for high-volume part marking, or for heavier metals and materials.