Direct part marking is for the majority of manufacturers a new standard of product marking. It is much more trustworthy than stickers or other non-direct marking techniques. When direct part marking topic is brought up, most likely the thought goes to metal parts. Though metal is the most popular material for direct part engraving indeed, there are many other materials available for marking.
The material marking spectrum also includes wood, ceramics, plastic, cardboard, leather and even glass. To find out which solution is best for your marking needs, read more here. In general, the most prominent technologies today are laser marking and dot peen marking.
Let’s see what these solutions have to offer for different materials.
Metal is the favorite material for marking as it can undergo engraving by almost any technology. The precise and flexible metal laser engraver or the highly permanent and cost-effective dot peening machine can mark any type of metal like brass, aluminium, iron, titanium, copper and stainless steel.
The final decision on the metal marking solution is made based on the non-material characteristics of the part (shape, size, mark quality) and the general demands to the process (budget, speed, mobility, etc).
Wood marking needs can be very diverse from traditional industrial coding to state-of-the-art graphic engraving on gifts or handmade masterpieces. The most acknowledged wood engraving technology is laser mostly for its ability to gently create outstanding engraving. If the attractive design of the marking is not necessary, dot peen technology is also an option.
Plastic has won many markets like consumer goods, electronics, automotive, construction, and a great number of others. Hard plastics can withstand the process of both dot peen marking and laser technologies. Still, for delicate thin plastic parts laser technology is preferable.
Marking ceramics requires the most proficient solution placing laser technology on the top of the list. Laser-engraved logos, graphics or codes are not likely to harass the integrity and quality of the ceramic part. As the material is one of the most difficult to mark, pay attention to your engraving solutions provider’s experience in this subtle process.
Along with branding elements, leather is also usually marked with the information on fabric origin and content and sometimes even with care instructions. A privileged task for a laser engraving machine.
Cardboard & Paper
With traditionally easy-to-mark paper and cardboard, laser engraving comes as an enhancement, for a smooth process that a standard printer cannot provide. Engraving, cutting, and perforating paper or cardboard with a laser inspire outstanding design for greeting cards, book covers, wrapping or packaging.
The sole idea of having glass marked can make one doubtful. However, this is also one of the fragile materials that can be easily handled by laser marking. Laser will ensure high-resolution engraving even for the thinnest clear glass.
There is also a pleasant advantage for manufactures that produce parts from different materials. Modern solutions are highly customizable and thus a decent marking machines provider can offer one solution suiting various needs, ensuring that your investment is well paid off.