For applications where each item is required to have a different identifier, a numbering machine can greatly reduce the time taken to correctly number the items. Numbering is a commonly used organizational method of managing documents. In the case of legal documents, a Bates automatic numbering machine can be used to sequentially number a large amount of papers with unique identifiers in order to keep track of them during litigation.
Other uses for numbering machines are in banks, government facilities and hospital laboratories where keeping track of documents and other items is necessary to daily operations. Other variable information can be included in the label produced by a numbering machine such as date and time, or a manufacturing code or batch code in order to provide more details if required.
Machines used for the numbering process can be either manual or automatic with a range of capabilities for single stamping, consecutive labeling and double or triple stamping. Manual stamping is cheaper than purchasing an automated piece of equipment, and it is easy to implement. However, it is labor intensive and much slower than a machine.
Furthermore, if label or number placement is a factor, the inconsistency of manual numbering is not ideal. The proper selection of marking machinery systems depends on a variety of factors, including industrial application, product material and product volume. The material being numbered will affect the choice of machinery and determine whether ink printing, embossing or engraving, or laser marking is used to create the label.
Ink stamping machines are typically used for regular paper documents such as legal papers, or tickets and bills, while an imprinting method might be used for glossy papers or for other paper products such as banknotes. Laser markers or engraving machines might be used for other objects requiring numbering that ink may not adhere to, or materials stamping might be ineffective with.
The position of the number label will depend on its application. If for organizational purposes, the number should be fairly visible. If for accountability, or reference purposes, the number placement may be more discreet.