Introduction to Dot Peen Marking and How it Works

Marking metal parts are mostly about choosing between two ways of doing so- adding the mark onto the surface, or cutting, embossing or burning the mark into the surface. Pressure sensitive labels, silk screening, printing, and other add-on techniques are easy to comprehend, but like all processes that depend on cohesion to a surface, durability is a prime issue. Moisture, abrasion, simple part wear and solvents can remove the marking, which can be inconvenient for a sale cashier searching for a bar code, or dangerous for a jet engine mechanic looking for a replacement part serial number! While most applications lie somewhere in between, there are various permanent marking techniques available that are quick and cost-effective. Dot peen marking is one such effective permanent marking technique!

Dot peen marking uses a hard stylus to rapidly indent the surface of parts, analogous to manual mechanical marking using a center punch and hammer, but with greater control and much faster. The dot peen marking machine is programmed to produce a wide array of marks: text, numbers, 2D machine-readable codes, logos and symbols are possible.

Working of Dot Peen Marking

Dot peen marking is achieved by electromechanical striking a diamond or carbide stylus assembly against the surface of the component to be marked. The process involves a microscopic upsetting, at a very shallow depth, of the surface of metal, creating a small indentation eliminating worries about the formation of stress riser in almost any application. The frequency of stylus movement and impact force of the stylus decides the resolution of the mark.

This type of marking (digits, text, data-matrix code, and logo) is composed of a succession of dots. Each dot is created when the stylus impacts the surface. The force is produced by a controlled electric pulse through the solenoid; this causes the magnet to punch towards the surface. An effectual spring brings the stylus back to the start position, ready for the next pulse. Frequency can vary depending on the speed of the stylus movements and force selected. A dot peen marking technology in which the electric current between each pulse is measured is a better choice as it can control the impact consistency.

Dot peen marking machines can be powered by different sources. For instance, a compressed air powered machine can achieve a frequency of 200-300 cycles per second, whereas an electromagnetically-driven unit operates at less than half the frequency, but with a greater command over the stylus impact force. This marking technology can be used to mark a wide variety of materials apart from metals, including glass, plastics and wood.

Typical characteristics of a dot peen marking machine include, it is a cost-effective solution to obtain permanent marks, it does not require any consumables, quick and efficient marking, can mark on all types of material from plastic to the hardest steel!

Applications of Dot Peen Marking

Dot peen marking technology is widely used in the aerospace industry and the automotive industry. These industries, particularly focus on a global quality system using unique identification and permanent marks on components. Meanwhile, this technology has expanded into other areas, such as the oil and gas industry, metal industry, agricultural machinery, transportation and logistics, electronics, construction equipment and many more! Dot peen systems are especially suitable for the permanent marking of plastic and metal parts, regardless of the surface properties or work environment. These systems are available as individual work stations (column-mounted equipment), or portable handheld units, or integrated systems in production lines.

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