Colyton Industrial Marking Solutions for custom marking systems
CI Marking Solutions is a division of Colyton Industrial Designs which is a design consultancy formed by ex employees of TelesisEagle Ltd. when the parent company Telesis Technologies Inc. made a strategic decision to withdraw from custom marking solutions in Europe.
CI Marking Solutions is based in the South West of England and can provide software based solutions to your marking problems.
CI Marking Solutions has over 30 man years experience in designing custom marking solutions for a number of different industries from Automotive to Aerospace.
Engineers at CI Marking Solutions have been involved in the design of custom marking systems since the first fully automated VIN marker for Vauxhall Motors in 1984. Since then we have provided automated VIN markers based on a variety of marking techniques culminating in the scribe markers currently in use. Throughout the period we have used a custom software package that is backward compatible with units such that our present designs can be retro fitted to marking units supplied in the early 90's whilst still maintaining a modern graphical interface for the operator. This common software package provides a common user interface for laser, scribe and pin stamp marking units, its modular design allows us to use it with any marking units that have the necessary communication facilities.
The same operator interface is also used with all our engine marking systems and in recent years we have added camera reading systems and robot operation to the system. We can also provide a web based interface to our cutom marking software that allows access to the machine via a web browser to monitor the operation without interfering with the normal operation of the machine.
We work closely with other companies to provide complete solutions to marking problems including design and manufacture of custom fixturing, software to control the complete system and on site installation and commissioning of the systems.
We also provide software support to Telesis for the custom marking systems currently installed in the UK and Europe.
CI Marking solutions uses PC and PLC based solutions to control marking systems in our custom designs.
The PC based designs provide database solutions allowing information to be recorded and used to check for duplication each time a mark is made, and can be offered with Web based interfaces for external monitoring of the machines.
The PLC solutions have included Allen Bradley, Siemens, Telemechanique and many other PLCs selected to provide the most economic answers to marking problems. We have also developed special interfaces to allow protocol translation for marking systems, for example providing a Profibus interface to a marking unit that only had a RS232 serial interface.
We can also supply robot mounted marking systems such as a Kuka robot with an engine marker or a Fanuc based VIN marking unit.
Pin Stamp technology also called dot peen marking, stylus pin marking or micro-percussion marking consists in indenting a series of dots into materials to form human readable alphanumeric identification, logos and 2D Data Matrix codes.
Pins can be driven by pneumatic or electrical systems, with marking depth up to 1 mm in mild steel, 1.5 mm in aluminium on flat of uneven surface. Most markers use a single pin mounted on a X-Y platform driven by stepper motors, however there are a number of multi-pin markers available that can provide a faster mark.
Scribing technology generates high quality continuous line marking with very low noise level operations and as such are the preferred choice when low-noise marking is required. Sometimes called "drop and drag" or scratch marking, scribe marking is an established standard for VIN marking and other applications where the noise of a standard dot peen marker is a concern.
Heavy duty models are perfectly well suited to Vehicle Identification Marking - VIN marking - with deep and reliable indent permanent marks, whilst lighter models are preferred for fine characters of the highest legibility at higher speeds.
Scribe systems must be engineered to accommodate the high mechanical stresses of the application while delivering optimum legibility of the marked part. Scribe systems should utilise high quality rails and bearings to assure precise, repeatable pin positioning - ensuring consistent appearance of the mark from part to part.
Laser marking uses the highly concentrated energy from a very parallel beam of light, focused to a microscopic spot, which is moved over the marking area by galvo mounted mirrors, to create a variety of images on a wide range of materials.
The legibility of marks made by lasers is achieved through a colour contrast between the mark and the base material, depending on the material, this is acheived by different processes which include thermo-chemical reaction, annealing, engraving or ablation.
Most plastics react when exposed to laser radiation. The resulting mark depends on the type of reaction, typically melting, foaming or bleaching, the reaaction is a function of the composition and colour of the base material, which may have additives to enhance the colour change or produce a change to a specific colour.
Most bright steels can be marked by means of a colour change through annealing the material, this requires precise control over the heat input from the laser which produces a highly legible, dark mark on the surface without removing the material.
Vaporising material produces a mark which is visible through the shadows and reflections of ambient light from the different angles carved into the surface, marking depths depends on a number of factors. .
The laser can mark anodised, plated or painted products by using the laser to remove the top layer to expose a base material in a contrasting colour.
Direct Part Marking
CI Designs has been involved in the design of fully automated and semi-Automatic marking equipment since the mid 80's and in the last ten years have become more involved in direct part marking and the requirements for traceability using 2D code marking.
This can be carried out using Pin Stamp, or Laser marking equipment to provide permanent marks directly on the component. This means that there is no label to fall off or to become detatched so the mark remains with the mark during its lifetime. The use of human readable numbers or barcodes can provide limited life to the mark due to corrosion problems whereas the 2D code can hold more information in a smaller space yet provide a high degree of redundancy so that even badly damaged codes can still be retrieved.
Reading 2D codes requires specialist software but is genreally more reliable than reading human readable codes that require special fonts to make the mark more easily decoded by Optical Recognition software.
Pin stamps generally produce larger deeper marks but due to the surface deformation it is not always suitable, whereas the laser is generally quicker and produces marks with a higher quality appearance. Laser markers also require a much higher level of safety design to prevent contact with the laser beam, pin stamps are generally less likely to cause serious injuries.
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