Direct parts marking methods

Posted by OMRON on 30-Jan-2019 11:40:40 AM

In OMRON, Machine Vision

 

Assessing Your Application

Since each application is at least somewhat unique, you should know the answers to the following questions before selecting a marking method: what type and how much data will you need to encode, how much real estate is available for the symbol, is symbol permanency a concern and who will be using the information.


Many Marking Methods Are Available

There are many methods to directly mark objects. Selecting the best method for the application is critical to achieving success. Each method has its own advantages and limitations. Since each method has its own advantages and limitations, it is important to review and experiment with as many methods as possible before selecting the best one for your application.

Electrochemical Etch: This process uses a low voltage current to mark the object surface. This is commonly used for low volume product runs.

Ink Jet: This type of marking uses small , dots sprayed directly onto the surface. Ink jet produces high contrast marks. Ink jet is not considered a permanent marking method.

Laser Etch: Lasers etch the symbol directly onto a surface. Clean, high resolution marks are produced making laser-etch well-suited for automated environments.

Dot Peen: Dot peen is a percussive marking method, using changes in depth to create marks. Dot peen is recommended for applications where the symbol must last the entire life cycle.

 

Marking Method

Description

Advantages & Disadvantages

Ink Jet on ABS Plastic

Ink_Jet_on_Substrate

Contrast levels vary widely, round element shape

Applications:

  • Post-packaging
  • Warehousing
  • Automotive

Advantages:

  • Low-entry cost
  • High speed
  • East to read if contrast is good

Disadvantages:

  • Not considered permanent by some industry standards
  • Dot registration can vary
  • Higher cost consumables
  • Mark quality dependent on surface cleanliness
  • Difficult to read if contrast is poor

Pre-Printed Packaging

Pre-Printed_Packaging

Typically high contrast, square element shape

Applications:
  • Product labeling
  • Product packaging
  • Document processing

Advantages:

  • Economical
  • High speed
  • Good contrast
  • Easy to read
Disadvantage:
  • Less flexibility

Thermal Transfer Label Stock

Thermal_Transfer_Label_Stock

High contrast, typically black on white label stock, square element shape

Applications:

  • Product labeling
  • Packaging
  • WIP tracking, various industries

Advantages:

  • High contrast
  • Low-entry cost
  • Easy to read

Disadvantages:

  • Not permanent
  • Higher cost: consumables

Laser Etch on Silk Screen

Laser_Etch_on_Silk_Screen

High contrast, square & round element shape

Application:

  • Electronics 

Advantages:

  • Good contrast
  • No consumables
  • Permanent

Disadvantages:

  • Displaces surface
  • Process creates debris

Ink Jet on Plastic

Ink_Jet_on_Plastic

High or low contrast, round element shape

Applications:

  • Bio-science
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Packaging

Advantage:

  • Limited damage to surface

Disadvantages:

  • Higher cost consumables
  • Not permanent
  • Bleeding can affect mark quality

Thermal Print on Foil Packaging

Thermal_Print_on_Foil

Typically good contrast, square element shape

Application:

  • Pharmaceutical packaging

Advantage:

  • Economical

Disadvantages:

  • Reflective nature of marking method may require additional lighting
  • Deformation of surface may affect readability of code

Ink Jet on Glass

Ink_Jet_on_Glass

Good contrast, round element shape

Applications:

  • Pharmaceutical packaging
  • Clinical R&D
  • Electronics

Advantages:

  • High contrast
  • Low entry cost
  • Limited damage to surface

Disadvantages:

  • Not permanent
  • Bleeding can affect mark quality

Laser Etch on Metal

Laser_Etch_on_Metal

Low contrast, square element shape

Applications:

  • Electronics
  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • DOD
  • Medical devices

Advantages:

  • Permanent
  • No consumables
  • High quality mark

Disadvantages:

  • Process creates debris
  • Affects surface of substrate

Laser Etch on Glass Epoxy

Laser_Etch_on_Glass_Epoxy

Medium contrast, square element shape

Application:

  • Electronics

Advantages:

  • Permanent
  • No consumables
  • High quality mark

Disadvantages:

  • Process creates debris
  • Lack of contrast; difficult to read
  • Affects surface of substrate

Laser Etch on Rubber

Laser_Etch_on_Rubber

Very low contrast, square or round element shape

Application:
  • Automotive

Advantages:

  • Permanent
  • No consumables

Disadvantages:

  • Process creates debris
  • Affects surface of substrate

Chem Etch on Metal

Chem_Etch_on_Metal

Typically medium contrast, square element shape

Applications:

  • Electronics
  • Semiconductor
  • DOD
  • Aerospace
  • Medical devices

Advantages:

  • Permanent
  • High quality mark
  • No debris from process

Disadvantages:

  • Potentially toxic material bi-product
  • Low-volume use only
  • Potentially complex process

Chem Etch on Silicon

Chem_Etch_on_Silicon

Typically medium contrast, square element shape

Application:

  • Semiconductor

Advantages:

  • Permanent
  • High quality mark
  • No debris from process

Disadvantages:

  • Potentially toxic material bi-product
  • Potentially complex process

Dot Peen on Smooth, Highly Reflective Metal

Dot_Peen_on_Smooth_Metal

Low contrast, dependent on difference in depth to create light and dark elements, round or square element shape, dependent on shape of stylus

Applications:

  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • DOD

Advantages:

  • Permanent
  • No consumables

Disadvantages:

  • Alters surface
  • Low contrast mark
  • More difficult to read
  • Inconsistent depth will create smaller elements
  • Background noise

Dot Peen on Textured Metal

Dot_Peen_on_Textured_Metal

Low contrast, dependent on difference in depth to create light and dark elements, round or square element shape, dependent on shape of stylus

Applications:

  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • DOD

Advantages:

  • Permanent
  • No consumables

Disadvantages:

  • Alters surface
  • Low contrast mark
  • Very difficult to read, due to high degree of surface noise created by texture

 

Bannière_Pub_White_Paper_#2_Article_Blogue

OMRON

Written by OMRON