Marking systems come in a variety of options to provide the benefits of time savings, cost savings and offer assistance in carrying out top-level operations. Traceability of products is crucial to product identification as it allows manufacturers to provide the history or location of products thanks to permanent markings, which can include bar codes or QR codes.
Laser Marking Options Provide Time and Cost-saving Benefits
Traceability is a fast-emerging trend in the manufacturing industry, and is defined as the ability to retrieve the full history or location of an item or product by means of recorded identification. In the tool making industry, the requirement to trace an individual tool and the ability to determine its usage and/or re-grinding history has become an industry standard, allowing end users to maintain the highest tool quality and productivity.
Tool laser marking is a necessary step that not only serves the purpose of providing basic tool geometry information, but also includes information pertaining to tool provenance and regrinding history, according to ANCA (Wixom, MI).
A basic requirement of laser marking is to have identification that is clear, and easy to read and understand. Lasers produce an indelible mark which is crucial for easy identification throughout the lifetime of the tool. The quality is consistently excellent with high contrast and minimal surface disturbance — both of which are important for cutting tool performance. Secondly, laser technology is mature and ensures consistent high reliability for many years.
ANCA offers two automatic laser marking options for a range of applications and individual requirements. The RoboMate LaserEtch is an integrated laser system that can be added to the ANCA RoboMate loader for the TX and MX platforms, allowing laser marking of individual tools in-process. After grinding, the tool is automatically laser marked, for example tool ID and graphics such as a company logo — all without any increase to tool takt time.
The AutoMarkX, an automatic stand-alone laser marking station, is the latest addition to ANCA’s family of tool production solutions. An operator simply loads up to two full pallets of tools and the robot performs the laser marking operations, freeing up staff to take care of other tasks in the factory. The unit can accommodate a wide range of tool sizes, making it a versatile proposition for many manufacturers. Flexible marking means the message can be etched on a single side of the shank or on opposite sides of the shank at the end of tool. The last option is particularly useful for applications where a unique tool identification code (e.g. Datamatrix) needs to be etched on the tool. Codes like Datamatrix are usually etched on the shank where they risk the exposure to excessive surface wear, rendering them unreadable. The end of tool is the best location to etch this type of code to overcome this issue.
This laser system is ANCA Integrated Manufacturing System (AIMS) ready.
Andreas Maier Products Now Offered by Live Tooling Importer
Platinum Tooling Technologies, Inc. (Prospect Heights, IL) now carries the marking and cleaning tools from its European partner Andreas Maier, under the AMF brand. “This development brings additional products to our current customers and responds to the market needs for quality marking and cleaning tools for workpieces in CNC machining,” said Preben Hansen, president of Platinum Tooling Technologies.
AMF’s marking tools are used for the permanent marking of workpieces made from all types of metal and thermoplastic substrates. They are typically mounted in tool holders for use in the spindle of a CNC machine tool. The marking of surfaces is achieved by a combination process of pressure and material displacement. These tools can function with or without rotation and usually without height adjustment on the spindle, resulting in a high-speed, highly efficient marking process and no degradation of the substrate. Very thin material as well as cylindrical workpieces can be easily marked. Cost savings are said to be substantial, compared to conventional marking or labeling. A key design feature of the AMF marking tool is its needle, which achieves the surface marking with clarity and at high speed.
AMF’s cleaning tools are used for the cleaning of workpieces, tooling and the interior of CNC machines. They are typically clamped in tool holders and mounted directly onto the machine spindle. Models are available in horizontal or vertical styles to suit the machine spindle configuration and feature adjustable jet nozzles for precise cleaning and coolant or compressed air conservation.
High Quality, Quick and Consistent Marking Allows Your Team to be More Productive
Dot peen marking technology is one of the most versatile marking solutions on the market today. Dot Peen Marking technology allows manufacturers to automate the direct part marking process, ensuring 100% reliable part traceability. Kwik Mark, Inc.’s (McHenry, IL) Dot Peen Marking systems allow your shop to place high quality marks on your products consistently and quickly, allowing you to be more productive.
This dot peen marker — manufactured in the United States — is a chip-less engraver ideal for marking tags, legends and machine parts with high resolution images. The unique dot peen process “floats” on the material surface during the marking operation, making it ideal for flat, curved and irregular surfaces. The system has built-in serializing, date coding and graphic engraving functions.
Kwik Mark’s machines are self-contained, requiring no PC for operation, and features the latest embedded control technology with a dual memory embedded processor with compact flash card. There is no software to learn or manuals to read. The Express Text feature means you press one key and enter the text to mark. Or use iTeach, Kwik Mark’s patented Jog and Teach Function, which allows the user to utilize the marking tip as a “pointer” to define the text path.
Portable, Battery-operated Dot Peen Marker Boasts a Large Marking Area
The handheld FlyMarker® mini 85/45 plus by Rocklin Manufacturing (Sioux City, Iowa) marking system is the newest model of the FlyMarker mini family. This 100% portable, battery-operated dot peen marker boasts a large marking area of 85-x-45 mm accompanied by a light weight (<7 lbs.). It can be optionally equipped with an extra strong magnet that enables deep markings that remain visible after various metal treatments.
The marking force can be adjusted directly on the unit to accommodate materials ranging from plastics to aluminum to hardened steel (up to 63 HRC). In addition to marking characters and numbers, options include company logos, test symbols, or Data Matrix Codes. And, due to its automatic height compensation feature up to 5 mm in variability, the user is guaranteed a constant marking result on round or uneven surfaces.
Marking files can be typed in easily through the dirt-resistant keyboard on the all-in-one unit, with internal memory storage for several hundred marking files. Alternatively, files can be transferred via the embedded USB interfaces. The high-quality linear guides moving in x- and y-directions ensure constant marking depth throughout the marking area. Moreover, the fiberglass-reinforced, break-resistant housing ensures durability in rough environments.
Each FlyMarker mini comes with two long-lasting, lithium-ion batteries which enable full mobility and constant marking without interruption. Several optional accessories are available, including a column frame for rapid conversion to a tabletop unit and an integrated barcode scanner mounted directly on the unit, among many others.
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