There are various direct part marking methods, but the appropriate method for marking a part is selected by considering certain factors.
Direct part marking is an important method of marking parts. The UID data of the item is directly etched on the surface of the item for permanent UID marking of the item. Generally, the industries like automotive, aerospace and electronic manufacturers opt for direct part marking system of their items for reliable marking solution. Assuring warranty, safety and satisfying regulatory solution for their requirements, the direct part marking enhances the item tracking and management of various Government and personal assets.
Different types of direct part marking methods are Electro-chemical etching, Dot peen, forge or mold, Cast, adhesive dispensing, Abrasive blasting, Stencil, Lique metal jet, Laser Shot peeing, Laser marking, Engraving/milling, Embroidery. However, these methods are selected carefully for each of the marking requirement.
Selection of Direct Part Marking Methods
There are various methods of direct part markings. But, all the methods are not applicable to all kinds of parts or items. In fact, the contractors need to select the appropriate method for marking the parts depending on various factors.
Functional Aspects of the Part
If the parts are used for safety critical applications such as in air-craft engines or high-stress systems, the contractors should prefer to use non-intrusive marking methods.
Shape of the Item or the Parts
The geometry of the part is responsible to decide the method of direct part marking of the item. For instance, if the surface of the part is curved it is difficult to enter the UID data making it inconvenient for direct part marking. A flat surface is always suitable for the method.
Texture of the Item Surface
It is easy to etch the 2D data matrix code on a rough surface through direct part marking where as difficult for a highly polished surface. In case it becomes essential to mark the part with DPM, the glare of the surface is reduced before the method is applied.
Size of the Part/Item
The application of the UID and 2D data matrix code are not dependent on the size of the items. In fact it is the size of the codes that are determined by the size of the items. In case the part is too small the size of the codes are adjusted accordingly and the methods also selected accordingly that can produce the required result.
Operating Environment of the Item and their Life Span
As it is important to have permanent marking solution with the direct part marking, the marking methods are determined according to the working environment. For instance, if the part is more exposed to heat, the efficiency and durability of the marking should be selected accordingly. Also, the functional life-span of the items differs for different items, which influences the selection of marking method for the items.
Width of Items
Thickness of the items are one of major matters of consideration while direct part marking. Otherwise, there are chances of deformation of the parts affecting their functionality. With most of the marking methods, the marking depth doesn’t exceed 1/10 of thickness of the item.