BotsIQ 2023 Finals Competition
April 28-29, 2023, 7:30AM – 6:00PM
BotsIQ is a manufacturing workforce development program of the Pittsburgh Chapter National Tooling & Machining Foundation whose goal is to provide a pathway for youth to learn about rewarding career options in manufacturing.
Identifying and developing a career plan is a challenge for students. BotsIQ holds a pivotal position as a workforce development program that attracts smart, capable students who love to build things and solve problems — exactly the type of people that will comprise the future manufacturing workforce.
You can also meet with Laurie Barcaskey, President of Leading Marks. Laurie is volunteering at this event that runs from April 28-29, 2023, 7:30AM – 6:00PM
Metalcasting Congress returns to the Huntington Convention Center in Ohio on April 25-27, 2023 – and you can visit Leading Marks in Booth 715!
The Metalcasting Congress attracts attendees from across the foundry industry, as well as professionals from other businesses within the manufacturing supply chain.
Nestled along Lake Erie’s southern shore, Cleveland is the second largest city in Ohio. Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland is hosting Metalcasting Congress 2023, providing over 410,000 square feet of prime meeting and event space. The convention center is also just 25 minutes away from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
Leading Marks & Boss Buddy
We will also be showcasing secondary marking requirements with direct-part marking systems and tools such as dot peen, laser & stamps, ink marking, hand-held & automated systems, and thermal transfer labeling solutions.
We will also be discussing workbenches, air filtration, vision handheld scanners and in-line options, soldering irons, and machining accessories.
Huntington Convention Center
April 25 – 27, 2023
Leading Marks Booth 715
Explore the Future of Metalcasting at Leading Marks Booth 715!
Leading Marks will be previewing improved efficiency and improved legibility for pattern labeling with the Boss Buddy embossing system, as well as secondary marking requirements with direct-part marking systems, dot peen, laser & stamps, ink marking, hand-held & automated systems and thermal transfer labeling solutions. Additional product solutions offered include: workbenches, air filtration, vision, handheld scanners and in-line options, soldering irons, machining accessories and more.
Leading Marks will be demonstrating the following products in our booth #715
The Boss Buddy makes it simple to produce pattern labels. With consistently embossed characters the end-results provide better legibility of heat numbers, date codes and other traceable cast in identification of cast products.
EBS 260 Handjet Portable Printer
The EBS Handjet product line is designed to deliver the highest performance. They are ideal for printing on porous and non-porous materials. Some of those substrates include foil, glass, metal, lumber, concrete, and various other surfaces.
Durable Mecco Stamp Grip
Durable Technologies' Safety First Stamp Grip provides improved hand protection and better marks. It provides a safer alternative for operators who prefer to hold stamps in-hand. Pocket sizes range from 1/4" to 1" square. Your hand stamp must be a minimum of 2.5" in length to work in the Safety First Stamp Grip.
Visit Leading Marks at Booth 715
In many foundries, the equipment used to apply the date codes, heat numbers and other traceable identification elements applied to patterns is aging badly. The preferred equipment, used for decades, requires operators to rotate a wheel engraved with a given character size, one character at a time.
Rotating the heavy wheel to make multi-character labels is cumbersome and time-consuming. Additional character sizes meant the investment in duplicate systems to meet the various size requirements because the different-sized character sets and base equipment are not interchangeable.
If multiple labels of the same legend are required, the process repeats. Manufacturers requiring high levels
of traceability, such as automotive and aerospace, often have significant investments of time and equipment. These resources are needed to make all the additional labels used to identify line number, operator ID, or other fac- tors so they can minimize batch size if a recall occurs.
The manufacturers that built these systems in the past have reduced available character sizes and don’t make spare parts for some systems. In addition, some marking companies have either shifted their focus to other, newer technologies where market size justifies production/development costs, or simply shut down. Many foundries are forced to hunt for second-hand parts online or use letters and numbers that can be pinned onto patterns. Parts bought online are hard to find and may be a short-lived solution when purchased used. Pinned on characters work but are not cost-effective. Their application and removal is tedious and time consuming, and the characters cannot always be reused. A shrinking workforce, needed for more important production tasks and not content with such menial work, merely compounds the problem.
ITT Goulds Pumps had tagging equipment that embossed one letter at a time, which made producing tags a time-consuming process. Furthermore, if the letter wheel was not stopped at the correct spot, the tag would have to be scrapped.The tagging equipment operated like a labeler where the user must spin the letter wheel to the desired character, press the lever, and then repeat this process for each letter on each tag. Illegible tagging was also a problem.
The manufacturer determined that new equipment was needed to con- tinue and improve the pattern labeling process. Numerous different solutions were tried. One solution was an automated dot peen marker with tag feeding accessories, but the marks were not legible after the tag was cast in due to the dot pattern. Work continued to improve the solution but after the process was fully implemented, the labeling results were still unsatisfactory. The search for a better, more legible solution proceeded.
During this period, Kevin Lucas, pattern shop supervisor at ITT Goulds Pumps, set out to provide a temporary solution by 3D printing the legend plates. He developed a custom font of characters to create more distinguish- able marks. Though legibility was improved, the time to produce the 3D molded legends was not much faster than rotating wheels.
- The ability to mark multiple char- acter sizes.
- Fast creation of repetitive legends.
- Material that was viable for the
- Something that fit the budget.
“We had been struggling with tagging legibility issues for years,” he said. “With our 3D printer, I had been adjusting and proving out a font and tag sizes. I printed thousands of tags, over the course of a year.”
Leading Marks had been working with many foundries around the U.S. to improve their processes. After
working with Leading Marks to test date code samples in a couple of character sizes, Lucas said he obtained much more legible marks that were created in less than half the time of the older system and with far greater ease. With favorable results in hand, they began defining what the package should include: Interchangeable type characters in the custom font that Lucas had designed. Characters in a variety of sizes Manual Boss Buddy embossing system (vs. the automated system).
The Boss Buddy system shipped to the facility in Seneca Falls, New York in the spring of 2019. After Lucas’ preliminary use of the Boss Buddy package in the pattern shop, it moved to the shop floor.
Ryan Knapp, molding supervisor at ITT Goulds Pumps uses it daily, quick- ly creating the pattern labels needed by the foundry. During a follow-up meeting with Laurie Barcaskey from Leading Marks, Knapp created even more clearly defined embossed characters with a simple change in the spring used in the impact press. Knapp is relieved he no longer must use the old system, aka the “Spin to Win” for pattern labels. Knapp will be championing the efforts of other departments to employ this solution throughout the plant.
When asked about the implemen- tation of the new system. Lucas said “I was pleasantly surprised that Leading Marks did not flinch when I men- tioned creating dies for the font I had been 3D printing.”
“Leading Marks had some great ideas on implementing the tagging project. Prior to seeing the Modern Casting piece, I was going in a different direction. It saved a lot of time going with proven equipment and a knowledgeable vendor.”
NEW 2023 Boss Buddy Catalog
Fundamentals of Laser Marking
There are several types of laser marking, including annealing, engraving, and foaming. The type of laser used, the material being marked, and the desired outcome will determine the specific process and technique used for laser marking.
Common materials that can be laser marked include metals, plastics, and ceramics. Laser marking is often used in industrial settings for product identification, traceability, and branding.
The principle of industrial traceability by laser engraving is based on a beam of high intensity laser focused and then directed towards the part to be marked. Its orientation is ensured by a galvanometric head composed of two mirrors. When a laser beam hits a part's surface, the energy is transferred in the form of heat, creating black, white, and sometimes colored marks.
In manufacturing, Lasers are a permanent, a precise and qualitative marking solution for part identification and traceability. Different applications may require different marking techniques such as engraving, staining, removing, annealing, and foaming are the most common marking methods. Each laser marking procedure will have its own unique advantages and disadvantages, depending on the materials being used and the quality requirement.
Types of Materials to Laser Mark
- Metals: Stainless steel, aluminum, brass, and titanium are common materials that can be laser marked. The laser beam melts or vaporizes the metal, creating a permanent mark.
- Plastics: Many different types of plastics can be laser marked, including polycarbonate, ABS, and polyamide. The laser beam causes the surface of the plastic to change color, creating a contrast between the marked and unmarked areas.
- Ceramics: Ceramic materials can be laser marked by removing a thin layer of the surface material. This creates a contrast between the marked and unmarked areas, making the mark visible.
- Glass: Laser marking on glass is done by a process called scribing, which involves using a laser beam to create a crack in the surface of the glass.
- Wood: Wood materials can be laser marked by burning the surface of the wood, resulting in a dark mark on a light background.
- Some fabrics: Laser marking can be used to print on fabrics such as denim, cotton, polyester, etc.
What Kinds of Marks
Laser marking can be used to create a variety of marks, including:
- Text: Laser marking can be used to engrave text, such as product information, serial numbers, or branding, onto the surface of an object.
- Barcodes and QR codes: Laser marking can be used to create barcodes and QR codes, which can be used for product identification and tracking.
- Logos and graphics: Laser marking can be used to engrave logos and graphics onto the surface of an object, such as company logos or product images.
- Serial numbers: Laser marking can be used to engrave serial numbers onto the surface of an object, which can be used for product identification, tracking, and traceability.
- Data matrix codes: Laser marking can be used to create Data matrix codes, which are a type of two-dimensional barcode that can store a large amount of information in a small space.
- Deep engraving: This type of laser marking is used to create three-dimensional marks in the surface of an object, and can be used to create detailed images or text.
- Cutouts and shapes: Laser cutting can be used to create intricate cuts and shapes in materials, such as fabrics, plastics, metals and even wood.
- Micro-text: Laser marking can be used to create very small text that is difficult to read with the naked eye, but can be read with a microscope.
Types of Laser Marking
- Annealing: This type of laser marking involves using a laser beam to heat a metal surface, causing a change in the color of the metal. This type of marking is often used on stainless steel and titanium.
- Engraving: This type of laser marking involves removing a small amount of material from the surface of an object, creating a permanent mark. This type of marking is often used for product identification, traceability, and branding.
- Foaming: This type of laser marking involves using a laser beam to create small bubbles on the surface of a plastic material, creating a contrasting mark. This type of marking is often used for product identification, traceability, and branding.
- Scribing: This type of laser marking involves using a laser beam to create a crack in the surface of a material such as glass. This type of marking is often used for product identification, traceability, and branding.
- Ablating: This type of laser marking involves using a laser beam to remove a small amount of material from the surface of an object, creating a permanent mark. This is commonly used in the aerospace, automotive, and medical device industries for product identification, traceability, and branding.
- Color change: This type of laser marking involves using a laser beam to change the color of the surface of a material. This is commonly used in the packaging and labeling industry for product identification, traceability, and branding.
- Deep engraving: This type of laser marking is used to create three-dimensional marks in the surface of an object, and can be used to create detailed images or text.
- Laser cutting: This type of laser marking involves using a laser beam to cut materials, such as fabrics, plastics, metals and even wood.
- The type of laser marking that is used will depend on the material being marked and the desired outcome.
What Industries is Laser Marking Most Commonly Used?
- Manufacturing: Laser marking is commonly used in the manufacturing industry for product identification, traceability, and branding. This includes marking product information, serial numbers, and company logos onto the surface of products.
- Aerospace and Defense: Laser marking is used in the aerospace and defense industries for product identification and traceability, such as marking serial numbers and other information onto aircraft parts.
- Automotive: Laser marking is used in the automotive industry for product identification and traceability, such as marking serial numbers and other information onto car parts.
- Medical Device: Laser marking is used in the medical device industry for product identification and traceability, such as marking serial numbers and other information onto medical devices.
- Electronics: Laser marking is used in the electronics industry for product identification and traceability, such as marking serial numbers and other information onto electronic devices.
- Jewelry: Laser marking is used in the jewelry industry for product identification and traceability, such as marking serial numbers and other information onto jewelry.
- Packaging and labeling: Laser marking is used in the packaging and labeling industry for product identification and traceability, such as marking serial numbers and other information onto packaging and labels.
- Textile: Laser marking is used in the textile industry for product identification and traceability, such as marking serial numbers and other information onto fabrics.
- Wood and stone: Laser marking is used in the wood and stone industry for product identification and traceability, such as marking serial numbers and other information onto wood and stone products.
Fundamentals of Steel Stamps and Dies
Custom stamps can be made for marking on flat, curved, concave or convex surfaces - for stamping part numbers, patent numbers, trade names, trademarks, special lettering or other data.
This process can be made by means of matched male and female roller dies, or by passing sheet or a strip of metal between rolls of the desired pattern. It is often combined with foil stamping to create a shiny, 3D effect.
These male and female dies produce permanent and legible raised letters, including trademarks, code symbols, ornamental patterns, or virtually any specific design, on various gauges of sheet metals.
Steel roll dies also create clear, permanent marks and are strong enough to mark a wide range of materials such as metal, plastic and wood.
Custom Steel Stamps, Inserts, Segments and Dies
Custom stamps, inserts, and segments can be made for marking on flat, curved, concave or convex surfaces - for stamping part numbers, patent numbers, trade names, trademarks, special lettering or other data.
The HandJet EBS 260 provides reimagined features and functionality for even more innovative, portable coding.
The EBS-260’s print height has been doubled to 32 dots with print heights up to 2.2″ and will provide one to four separate lines of code. EBS has increased the capacity of the ink cartridge to up to 200,000 characters in a 7×5 matrix. Single- or multi-line messages from .276″ to 2.2″ high can be printed on both porous and non-porous substrates. It’s ideal for imprinting corrugated, paper, film, foil, glass, metal, lumber, concrete, and many other surfaces.
At slightly-over 3.5-lb. the unit features a new redesigned hand grip improved ergonomic grip contours to ensure that handling is comfortable and well- balanced.
In the video below, the portable, lightweight EBS-260 marks a 2.2” high pre-programmed text and the printer's built-in laser guidance ensure precise message positioning. The EBS-260 features a touch-screen controller, with a 3.5"-diagonal, hardened screen, enables the user to view the message being printed and make on-the-fly text adjustments.
A big thank you to Oldcastle Infrastructure, an industry leader in engineered building solutions, in Elgin, IL. for this video.
Reiner Introduces the Only All-In-One Scan to Print Thermal Inkjet Printer on the Market: Jetstamp 1025
There are three ways to utilize this one-of-a-kind technology:
- Scan > Copy > Print – Scan a QR code, for instance, and print that same QR code with the option to include additional data with the code.
- Scan > Convert > Print – This offers 3 options. Scan a barcode or QR code and print the embedded text in the scanned barcode, print the human readable code in the scanned barcode, or convert to a different style/type of barcode.
- Scan > Command > Print – Create a look-up database stored on the printer. Scan a barcode and have it jump to your specified print on the 1025 and then print the preprogrammed information.
All of these options include the ability to print barcodes, alphanumeric text, live date and time, sequential numbering & graphics and the unit can store up to 255 imprints at one time. Print up to 1” x 3 1/2”.
AMI has proudly been a partner with and distributor of Reiner handheld thermal inkjet printers for over 40 years.
“We are ecstatic to be able to offer new innovation to our customers that will make their process and production more efficient,” said Stephanie Mear, COO of Automated Marking Inc.
“We have always said that Reiner products represent German engineering at its finest, but the 1025 Sense shows that they are also innovation at its finest. We believe no other product provides the kind of lifetime value like our Reiner line of thermal handheld inkjet printers,” Mear concluded.
Getting on the Mark at IMTS
If you are heading to the show be sure to stop and visit our friends at:
- Technomark - North Building, Level 3 — 236019 — Fabricating & Lasers
- Tapmatic - West Building, Level 3 — 431246 — Tooling & Workholding Systems
- TBH -
- Zeus Marking - West Building, Level 3 — 432021 — Tooling & Workholding Systems
Tapmatic Corporation is celebrating its 70th anniversary and will be featuring their CNC Marking and Deburring tools in their booth.
Technomakr be introducing their next-generation products for dot peen and laser marking, CONNECT.series and GRAPHIX.series respectively.
Zeus Marking products will be on display at the RSVP Tooling, Inc. booth. They will have a nice selection of Knurling Tools and part marking to meet many your needs. You can examine solutions for marking on different surfaces and contours
From warehouse supply chains, manufacturing, to hospital patient care, Honeywell barcode scanners are purpose-built for the demands of your business.
- Fixed Mount Scanners that automate the scanning process, minimizing the risk of missed scans and eliminating the need to have a person manually scan each item.
- General Duty Scanners are easy to use – so easy, in fact, that no set up or training is required.
- Industrial Duty Scanners are made for challenging working environments. You can trust these handheld, industrial-grade barcode scanners to provide superior durability and reliability.
- Hands-Free Laser Scanners and area imagers feature a range of barcode scanning technology – from omnidirectional scanning to 1D and 2D scanning – to meet the specific needs of your business.
- Ring Scanners are easy to wear and use. They’re especially useful for mobile workers that need to scan barcodes while also keeping both hands free.
There are variety of authors who write the articles including marking manufacturers. You'll find a lot of technical imformation, application stories and new product releases here. Be sure and click a category below that interests you to search it.
AFS Medtalcasting Congress
Design 2 Part
Direct Part Marking (DPM)
EBS Ink Jet
HFO Demo Day
ITT Gould Pumps
Marking Indsutry Magazine
Mfg Advanced Expo
Modern Machine Shop
Pitt Chem Day
Rising Rust Belt
TBH BF -Series
Unique Device Identification (UDI)
WBENC - Women’s Business Enterprise National Council
WBE Women’s Business Enterprise
WBE - Women’s Business Enterprise
WOSB - Women Owned Small Business