Direct Part Marking (DPM)
Tracking individual components can be a costly proposition when standard product labeling techniques fail to measure up over time. Direct Part Marking (DPM) provides a permanent marking solution that ensures readability throughout the life of your products, even when subjected to harsh environments during the manufacturing process.
There are many business benefits to the implementation of Direct Part Marking:
- True “Cradle to Grave” traceability of product
- Improvement of Manufacturing Processes
- Identification of quality defects throughout the Manufacturing Process
- Eliminates Manual Data Entry and therefore Human Error
- Supports Data Logging and Automatic Data Collection
- Consequently reducing the overall cost of manufacturing
Initially, the code has to be marked in some way and the method is dependant on the material to be marked, the required lifespan of the mark, the accessibility of the area to be marked, production speed/volume etc. The most common methods of marking are Laser-etching, Dot peening, Ink-jetting and Chemical-etching.
We stock a range of DPM Scanners. Please Contact Us to discuss the best option for your business.
Dot Peening is achieved by pneumatically or electromechanically striking a carbide- or diamond tipped stylus against the material being marked.
Advantages: Low initial cost, permanent mark
Disadvantages: Slow, Contact / Impact marking
Laser Etching applies heat to the surface of a part that causes the surface of the part to melt, vaporise or change in some way to produce a mark.
Advantages: High quality mark, non-contact, permanent mark
Disadvantages: High initial cost
Ink Jet Printers
Ink Jet Printers precisely propel ink drops to the part surface, after which the fluid evaporates and leaves a coloured die that creates the pattern of modules that make up the mark.
Advantages: High speed, low initial cost, non-contact
Disadvantages: Consumable costs, less permanent
Electro-Chemical Etching is a process whereby the mark is produced by oxidizing metal from the surface being marked through a stencil impression
Advantages: Low initial cost, not surface-changing
Disadvantages: Slow, consumable costs
Verification is required in many instances to check the quality of code, particularly at time of marking. This can provide immediate feedback as to any changes to the marking process. For example, the verifier can monitor tip wear on a dot peen machine by monitoring dot size, and flag the operator.
At the marking stage, during the manufacturing process and throughout the products lifecycle, the mark will be required to be read. Depending on the situation and the environment, this could be with a handheld reader tethered to a host computer or with a remote Bluetooth connection.
The information could be gathered with a Mobile Computer with an inbuilt reader and wirelessly transmitted back to the host. Fixed Position readers are used for automatically collecting the data on some form of automated transfer or a presentation type reader used in an application where the user needs to be “hands-free”.