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What Kind of Mark Does My Product Need?

April 13, 2016

There are many reasons why you might need to mark your product. Traceability, functionality, identification, security and branding are just a handful of the possibilities. Whatever the specific reason may be, determining which technology to use is often dictated by what type of mark your product needs. While your specific application is unique, the type of mark you need generally falls into one of four categories: surface, light, moderate and deep.
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Surface Marks

Also known as a heat mark, this is basically a thermal reaction. The material on your part is not upset, moved or displaced by the marking process. Laser marking is beneficial for industries that require tight tolerances, such as bearings and aerospace components. Medical instrument manufacturers also use this type of marking process since it eliminates the possibility of surface grooves, which prevents the potential for bacteria to grow. Surface marks can be done with a laser marking system.

Light Marks

Some applications require a lighter part marking depth, anywhere from .001” to .003”. This type of mark is best suited for parts that require no after-mark processing such as painting, sand blasting, or machining. To achieve this minimal depth, pin marking or laser marking is recommended.

Moderate Marks

A moderate mark is considered anything between .004” to .009”. At this depth material displacement may or may not create burrs (a rough surface around the mark’s edge) depending on the technology used. In applications where burring is preferred, pin stamping is the desired technology. For a mark without burrs, laser marking or traditional marking is required.


Deep Marks

Deep marks displace or remove a substantial amount of material. With marking depths of .010” and deeper, this type of mark will not be covered up after a typical painting or coating is applied to the part.


What Technology Is Best

Choosing the ideal technology can depend on many factors beyond marking depth, such as production rate, marking speed, mark durability, the look of the mark, and the budget. At SCHMIDT, an engineered marking solution is what we do best. So talk to us today, we can help you determine the right marking technology for your specific application needs.