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Dapra Marking Systems
A Division of Dapra Corporation
66 Granby Street
Bloomfield, CT 06002
Tel: 860-286-8728
Toll-Free: 800-442-MARK
Fax: 860-242-3017

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Manufacturing Application: Hand-Held Marking

HandHeld Marking System
A 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.
In 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.

Many 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 Marking HandHeld unit was selected.

Steel Manufacturer's Steps to Perfect Marking with HandHeld
1. Barcodes are scanned into HandHeld system from printouts
2. Scanned information is reviewed on LCD screen for accuracy
3. Marking head is positioned on plate, start button is pressed and high-quality information is marked into the steel
Once the HandHeld unit (consisting of a controller with keyboard, portable marking unit and barcode reader for 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.

The steel manufacturer was extremely pleased with the reliability of Dapra Marking's HandHeld unit — they are
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.

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