Application: Hand-Held Marking
2002, a domestic steel manufacturer began to investigate
the feasibility of installing portable marking units
in its shear, flame cut and heat treat test areas.
These units would replace the hand-stamping of test
coupons. Due to the location and setup of the shear
area, as well as the volume of test coupons that
pass through, it was determined that this portion
of their manufacturing process would serve as the
beta location to test the installation of a new marking
system. The goal for this project was to provide
a portable, cost-effective, low-maintenance system
that would improve the quality of their marks, eliminate
errors and be user-friendly.
robust, lightweight design allows the HandHeld
to be used in a wide range of manufacturing environments.
A high-resolution LCD screen enables the user to
easily view the information to be marked. A simple
interface means integration into already-established
workflows is quick and simple.
marking units were evaluated for portability, maintenance,
durability, ease of setup and, most importantly,
stamping quality. Operators were involved in the
evaluation testing from the beginning and they quickly
eliminated all units requiring air. The operators
felt that the quality of air needed to power pneumatic
systems, as well as the potential difficulties with "winter
freeze," would create unnecessary problems.
From the remaining electromagnetic systems, the Dapra
unit was selected.
the HandHeld unit (consisting of a controller with
keyboard, portable marking unit and barcode reader
data input) was delivered, a variety of setups were tested. Various customizable
settings, including speed, font size, marking force and direction, were adjusted
to optimize the readability of the marks. Many samples were reviewed by the
operations and plate technology staff and the chosen sample's settings were
programmed. Custom software was developed to display the data scanned into
the marking system from the barcode reader — this preview allowed the
test operators to verify data prior to marking.
Manufacturer's Steps to Perfect Marking
are scanned into HandHeld system from
information is reviewed on LCD screen
head is positioned on plate, start button
is pressed and high-quality information
is marked into the steel
steel manufacturer was extremely pleased with the
reliability of Dapra Marking's HandHeld unit — they
now in the process of purchasing additional systems for integration into other
areas of operation. The positive feedback from the operators, combined with
the HandHeld's ease of use and ability to easily interface with their original
setup, has made it a success.