"How To. . ." FAQ's

"How To. . ." FAQ's

How do I mark on plastic?

Scribe engraving, laser and dot marking are the usual choices for marking on plastic. Scribe marking is the least common because it requires fixturing of parts and some plastics can be too soft for this. Pryor’s lasers have built in HEPA and Particulate filters, and can be supplied with fume extraction.

There is a huge variety of different plastics, some being harder to mark and some being easier (harder and glass reinforced plastics are generally easier to mark). Therefore, we recommend that you send us some samples for testing to enable us to deduce the best marking method for your requirements.

How do I mark on hard metals?

Pryor’s standard range of dot peen and scribe marking machines will mark up to around 62 Rockwell C.

To get a deeper mark in hard materials we manufacture pneumatically powered dot peen and deep scribe marking machines.

Chemical etch and laser marking machines are capable of marking much harder materials as they do not indent the surface.

Many of Pryor’s hand tools and engraved dies will mark materials with a hardness of up to around 37 - 40 Rockwell C. However, engraved dies can be specially manufactured from High Speed Tool Steel upon request, which makes these capable of marking materials with a hardness of up to around 50 Rockwell C.

Get an overview of our deep marking products.

How do I mark a part without deforming the surface of the material?

Laser marking, chemical etching and inkjet can be used to make a permanent mark on an object without indenting the surface of the material. 

For critical applications our standard dot peen and scribe marking machines can be set to make very light marks. Pryor's expertise in these critical applications is unrivalled and we will help you set up the machine for your application.

Our hand tools can be supplied as dot stress or mini stress versions which cause lower stress impact on the marked surface.

How do I mark a serial number?

Read more about solutions for marking serial numbers here.

Pryor’s stand-alone machine controllers and windows based software both feature automatic serial numbering as standard.

Serial numbers can be set for a specific mark layout, or globally across all marks made. The user can completely customise the length and format of the serial number, the increment and the frequency of the increment. For example, if the same serial number is to be marked on same part in 2 different places, the frequency of the increment would be every 2 marks.

Via the auto save feature, the serialisation will continue where it left off when the machine is turned off and on again.

Serialisation can also be completed manually, using a Pryor number marking head, where the serial number is completely selectable by rotating the wheels. The automatic number marking head increments automatically each time the actuating lever is pressed. 

How do I mark the circumference of cylindrical components?

When marking the circumference of a part you have a number of options that all depend on the diameter of the part and the location of the mark.

If you want to mark along the same point on the circumference (i.e. along a straight line) then a PortaDot with a V Mask will be ideal for larger, heavier or immobile parts. Either a Cabinet Laser or a bench mounted dot peen marking machine, such as a BenchDot or a Markmate, will be ideal for marking for smaller, lighter and mobile parts.

If you want to mark around the circumference of the component and the diameter of the part is less than 200mm, the circumferential fixture can be used with either a Cabinet Laser or a bench mounted dot marker. However, this may not be as suitable as other options when marking very heavy parts due to the strain on the motor.

For heavier and larger parts, a multi-axis marking station or robotic marking solutions are likely to be the best solution. However, if you are marking many parts of the same type (or very similar), we may be able to develop a more suitable custom marking solution for you.

Alternatively, if you already have suitable machinery and are making repeat marks, Pryor also manufactures custom designed roller dies. These can be mounted onto your rotating shaft to mark around the circumference of the part.

How do I mark anodised aluminium?

You will get the best result for marking anodised aluminium by using a laser marker. A laser marker will burn off the anodised layer which shows the mark better than most other marking methods. For example, if the anodised layer was black, the mark would appear silver as the aluminium would show through. This creates a sharp, clean mark.

You can also mark anodised aluminium with a scribe marker or a dot marker. The scribe marker scratches the surface, allowing the metal beneath to show through. However, sometimes the edges are not as clean as with a laser marker.

Dot marking is never as clear as laser marking or scribe marking because the anodised layer remains intact which results in less contrast. The mark can sometimes be more difficult to see.

How do I mark on hot materials?

The method of hot marking not only depends on the temperature of the material being but also on the temperature of the environment. Our InDot marking machine is capable of marking in both a hot environment and on hot materials. We can also provide steel baffles to companies that weld whilst the machine is marking.

Roller dies are also able to mark on hot surfaces because they only require a brief contact with the hot material. Most marking devices that mark at speed prevent annealing of the marking tool. For this reason, marking tools that require pressure to build up are not suitable for marking on hot surfaces.

We regularly manufacture custom built marking machines for unique marking applications. If you would like to discuss your requirement regarding hot materials in more detail, please contact us and we will provide expert advice on your specific application.

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