Types of Part Marking
There are many types of part marking available depending of the functionality, durability, and longevity of the marking. Here are some types of part marking that are most commonly used:
- Ink Stamping: Often used for simple markings of letters and numbers using one or two colors like part numbers, manufacturing date, cage codes, serial numbers, etc.
- Silkscreen: Often used for with an artwork file that can be used with multiple colors for fonts, images, words, and designs link logos, aesthetic design, functionality identification, warning identification, etc.
- Laser cutting: Often used for a permanent marking and contemporary design like logos, and esthetic design.
- Emboss: Often used for a more permanent marking with an aesthetic appeal like logo design and part numbers.
- Laser etch: Often used for more durability for a marking that is to be more permanent, but also has a different type of aesthetics since it’s etched in the metal.
Part marking can be used for part identification, logos, aesthetic design, functionality identification, warning identification, and more. No matter the reason for the part marking, it is crucial to have the part marking information properly annotated on the drawings.
Ink Stamp on a Drawing
The most simplest of part markings to achieve as well as annotate on a drawing is ink stamp. On a drawing, the notes can simply annotate to ink stamp the part number and revision in black ink. As far as location, since ink stamp is done by hand, there is usually a generally area annotated on the drawing of the region the ink stamp should go. It’s rare to see actual dimensions for ink stamp.
Silkscreen on a Drawing
We often receive drawings from our customers that include silkscreening the part, which is the proper way to specify the use of silkscreen. However, we often run into a problem when it comes time to silkscreen and we do not have all the information we need. Remember, your manufacturing drawing acts as a source of communication of how to manufacture and finish your product. So it is very important to properly illustrate the specifications for the silkscreen on the actual drawing. Here’s what is required when adding silkscreen to a manufacturing print:
- Dimensions of the location of the silkscreen
- Silkscreen color(s)
- (Optional) ink type
- Artwork file to be used
This information tells us where the silkscreen is to be placed on the part, the colors of ink to use, as well us the actual separate artwork file which will provide the exact artwork to be used to make the screen like an Illustrator file (note: different silkscreeners use different programs for artwork, so be sure to check what type of artwork files they work with).
Laser Cut on a drawing
Laser cut should be illustrated just like any other aspect of the part for manufacturing. Generally a 3D model is supplied which provides the information needed to laser cut the design.
Emboss on a drawing
Embossing entails using a custom punch tool. So on a drawing, if the tooling is already available, should annotate the tool to be used. If tooling is not available or if it’s a new part, which means a tool will need to be created, it’s important to annotate on the drawing the following:
- Dimensions of the location of the emboss
- Dimensions of the height of the emboss
Remember: sharp edges cannot be achieved with an emboss. Emboss edges have a radius. Don’t forget to add the material thickness to the drawing as this is an important piece of information when creating an emboss tool.
Laser Etch on a drawing
Laser etch is often used for logos and aesthetic design. On a drawing, the following is required on a drawing:
- Dimensions of the location of the laser etch
- (Optional) ink color and type to be filled into the etch
- Artwork file to be used
Here is an example of what a drawing for laser etching looks like:
You will notice it has the dimensions of where the laser etch needs to be placed on the part, along with specifying that the artwork is to be “laser etched” as oppose to a different type of part marking, as well as the artwork file to use for the artwork to be etched.
We hope this helps identify which part marking to use for certain occasions and how to annotate it on a drawing. Here at Vista Industrial Products, we regularly use all these types of part marking techniques. If you are looking for a metal fabricator who has these capabilities, be sure to contact us today. If you need assistance on what to include on the drawing, feel free to comment below.