In essence, Direct Part Marking (DPM) is applying identification that lasts from cradle to grave and will sustain very rugged environments. Many US government agencies are making unique device identification (UDI) and direct part marking (DPM), mandatory. The private sector, from automotive manufacturers to medical offices have been using DPM more and more as they have embraced the Deming Principles of TQM.
Direct Part Marking is used most frequently when marks are needed on a variety metals, plastics and wood. Common equipment solutions range from traditional hand stamping processes to cutting edge technology of fiber laser marking. Direct part marking is often a less costly alternative to purchasing RFID tags.
When to Choose Direct Part Marking
Direct Part Marking Options
2D Codes: Most Popular for Direct Part Marking
In most cases, direct part marking applications use two-dimensional (2D) barcodes such as Datamatrix or QR Code, which carry much more data than linear (1D) barcodes. By using 2D barcodes, manufacturers can also identify very small items and parts.
2D codes can pack a large amount of data as opposed to linear codes because they can carry data in two directions on the code vs. just one. To give you an idea of the relative size, a 1D barcode can store around 25 characters up to about 80 characters depending on whether it’s Code 128 or Code 39, but a 2D code can store up to 2,000 characters.
In the automotive sector, there is an established standard (AIAG B11) for direct part marking, and a number of large auto OEMs like Ford require suppliers of certain components to use DPM for part traceability.
Manufacturers like to use the 2D code not only for the storage capacity, but for their relative size as well (square vs. rectangular). The flexibility of a 2D code allows for the variation in the amount of information stored in the barcode as well as the size of the item being marked. The most popular uses of the mark are for applications that require:
Leading Marks can help you with traceability from the shop floor where machine to machine communication and data-collection is crucial to mobilizing reporting from the warehouse or in the field.
Traceability is common for collection, look-up and sharing of data. Whether it is Asset Tracking, EH&S Inspections, QA/QC Controls, Work-in-process, Assembly builds, or Field Service reporting industry is driving the need for traceability from cradle to grave. Why is traceability important for your organization?
What’s the value-add with the potential of data collected through mobile apps or plant-floor software packages?
Kurt J. Lesker Company® (KJLC®) is the leading global provider of high-quality vacuum equipment, that services the LEDs, Optics, UHV/Synchrotrons, Electronics, Wear and Decorative Coatings and R&D markets.
Leading Marks tested and installed a Gravotech XM500 ENv2 LM portable dot peen part marking system. The Gravotech - Technifor XM500 is a lightweight and robust portable marking machine with an ultra-compact design that allows you to mark where you want, when you want. It can be used for marking small and large parts as well as parts with complex shapes and difficult to access areas. Combined with the new XCOM Control Unit, the XM500 is the most comfortable and intuitive marking machine on the market!
According to Roxanne Shurtz, CNC Supervisor at Kurt J. Lesker Company, "Leading Marks was able to answer any questions that I had. The technical support was knowledgeable and efficient. I appreciated Leading Mark’s quick response time, knowledge of products, and product availability."
Our new Gravotech, handheld dot peen tool gives us the ability to quickly change our marking needs from job to job. The production staff finds it easy to understand and use. I would recommend Leading Marks because of their outstanding customer service and knowledge. They offer innovative products and ideas."
The machining process allows for many operations to be consolidated in one work cell: drilling, deburring, polishing and yes, marking. Often companies will choose to do the marking as a secondary process and use the valuable machining center for operations only possible in it.
Learn More Today!
Contact Leading Marks for more information about this marking tool and to learn about other options.
Leading Marks is proud to partner with MAX USA for the distribution of their thermal printers.
MAX has been recognized worldwide as a leader of industrial tools and office products. The MAX thermal printers can be found in manufacturing facilities, chemical plants, educational & health care facilities and many more. Thermal printing solutions include the Letatwin and Bepop printers.
About the Letawin Thermal Printer
The MAX LETATWIN LM-550A2BH is portable, high speed thermal transfer printer is ideal for control panel marking, wire numbering, and device labeling. Using thermal transfer technology, it is ideal for printing directly onto heat-shrink and PVC tubing and for printing on MAX polyester tapes for marker strip labeling.
Unique features include the ability to make half-cut or full cut parts, a warming element and optional battery power capability. The enhanced MAX software LETATWIN PC Editor and driver can be downloaded from the MAX USA website.
Connect to a computer and print directly to the machine, or save marker data to the machine's large internal memory and take it with you on-site. Engineered for high productivity and robust environments, including a shock resistant rubber keyboard, you will use your LETATWIN trouble free for many years to come.
Leading Marks is proud to partner with MAX USA for the distribution of their thermal printers.
Sourcing labels and signs can often be a challenge and not permit you to meet the delivery requirement without a minimum charge. This is where the MAX Bepop printers allow you to capitalize on your investment by permitting you to print on-demand with the specific message needed for the situation.
The Bepop printers are 4-color thermal printer that can print in standard ANSI color or 4-color CMYK high resolution colors. In addition to a 1” per second print speed, it cuts labels to size or outline shape without the need of costly dies at 4.7” per second.
The user-friendly software allows you to design labels for your needs or utilize standard templates pre-stored in the library. A complete library of standard icons are also included with the software. The Bepop printers come in two model sizes; one for 4” wide materials and one for 8” materials.
Laurie Barcaskey, Founder & President of Leading Marks, LLC, spoke to The American Foundry Society Pittsburgh Chapter. on March 4 2021. AFS Pittsburgh is a local chapter of The American Foundry Society based in Schaumburg, Illinois.
Laurie talked about pattern labeling, secondary marking of components, safety signage and labeling shipping identifications and how RFID is improving process control and traceability. T
he video is about 15 minutes long and covers technology and where marking is used in foundries.
Matalco Inc.’s three operations are strategically located in Brampton, ON, Canton, OH, and their state-of-the-art $100 million facility in Lordstown, OH positioned them as the largest remelter in North America.
At their Canton, Ohio, facility, Matalco makes new products and aluminum billets from recycled materials. They are using the Bepop printer to make safety-related labels and PPE diagrams.
In addition, Matalco is making labels for things around the plant to improve visual literacy such as daily production information, safety metrics, and labels for hard hats to show certification information. They plan on expanding their use of the tool to label storage locations to make sure things are put away and improve efficiency.
Before they purchased the MaxUSA Bepop printer, Matalco would have to call a graphics designer, create a PO, have it printed elsewhere, and pick the labels up. According to Emily Seibert, the Environmental Health and Safety Specialist at the Canton facility, “Today if we have an idea, boom, we can do it today. We don’t have to wait a week…we can do it right here.”
Emily stated that the system was pretty easy to use and user-friendly from the start, particularly f you are familiar with Microsoft tools like Powerpoint and Paint.
The information for this testimonial from Leading Mark’s customer came from the video shown below. Watch it to learn more about Matalco’s experience with the MaxUSA Bepop CPM-100HG5 label printer.
The Boss Buddy Accessory Package
Direct Part Marking
Ink Marking Solutions
Thermal Transfer Labeling
Related Manufacturing Equipment
Looking Ahead to 2021
Looking Ahead to 2021 we are excited about the solutions our vendor partners are providing to manufacturing operations, construction projects and food processing requirements. Whether your needs are for marking or the related equipment Leading Marks is prepared to help evaluate your applications with sample marks with the various technologies.
We strive to better understand your requirements based on the industry specifications, product and/or substrates to be marked, the environment it is subject to, available budget and other expectations that apply.
To better acquaint you to the product solutions and the limited ability to visit during these continued uncharted times, we are preparing a schedule of webinars with our vendors. If you want to be alerted to the workshops, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exciting things are in store in 2021 as Leading Marks continues to Identify Solutions to suit your needs.Happy New Year!
by Laurie Barcaskey
When people ask me what I do to earn a living and respond that I sell industrial identification systems, aka marking, people often give me a puzzled look and ask “What is that?”
Construction uses marking to show the connection points for a building’s structure, utility supply lines and the directional flow of things like gas, water, and sewage. These marks allow for a building to be erected correctly and support on-going maintenance.
I am the third generation of a marking family whose involvement began when my Grandfather purchased a marking company in 1928. I grew-up cutting my teeth on steel hand stamps and direct-part marking. To say the least, I have graduated from the “School of Hard Knocks” as anyone from a family business can attest. Currently, I am the only family member remaining in the field of marking.
It is not unusual that one day of field calls will take me from a machine shop producing automotive, aerospace, or medical instruments, to food producers, to metal refineries and then onto a construction job site.
Their enthusiasm to plan and build something and then compete with other high schools at the annual Bots Tournament in southwestern PA is exciting and fun.
The mechanical and life skills the students gain is critical to setting them up for success as they look for jobs, attend trade school, or seek degrees. The suppliers and manufacturers who support them gain direct insight to future employees and the local educational systems and networking opportunities with other professionals. It is a win-win for everyone.
Becoming Women Business Enterprise (WBE) certified opens the doors to opportunities with government and large corporations who value diverse suppliers. This certification also enables me to encourage young women involved in the SW Bots program or just starting their careers within manufacturing and construction. While these industries are inviting more women to be a part of their organizations, there are still many more efforts needed to diversify and level the playing field.
Now that you know all of this about me and a bit of the background of Leading Marks, what is the solution we can help you with?
About the Author
Laurie Barcaskey of Leading Marks is an authorized manufacturer’s representative with 30 years of experience and shop floor knowledge of solutions for industrial identification, part traceability and pipe testing. Laurie is the third generation of one of the marking industry’s most innovative and enduring family legacies, tracing back to 1889.
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