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Home Applications Rotary Marking

Rotary Marking


While marking flat parts is fairly simple, marking around the periphery of round parts can be more challenging. Rotary devices and roll marking machines are an effective solution to the problems round parts present. 

Rotary devices are programmable fixtures attached to our laser marking machines and pin markers that rotate the round parts during the marking process. Our laser marking and pin marking software use the part's size specifications to calculate when to rotate the part and how much. The result is an even mark around the perimeter of the part.

The alternative to using a rotary device is to use a more traditional technology such as a roll marker or a rotary roll marking machine. Unlike a rotary device that turns a part, a roll marking machines use pneumatic and hydraulic pressure to move steel tooling across the perimeter of a part.  Special fixturing cradles hold the round part while straight type holders press even marks into the part.  One part is marked at a time resulting in a deeper, cleaner, uniform mark.  The table height is easily adjustable to accommodate a variety of sized parts.  

Rotary roll marking machines are similar to roll markers but use a different technique that allows for continuous marking. Parts are rolled across a concave type holder, applying enough pressure while doing so to create an impression. The resulting mark is less uniform but three times the parts can be marked in the same amount of time as a roll marker.  These machines are ideal for making marks on cylindrical or tapered round parts for high-speed, high production applications. These machines can be equipped with a variety of part feeding systems like bowl feeders, gravity chute feeds, hoppers, and carrier dials. 

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When you set a flat part down into a marking field, the part's entire surface area is an equal distance from whatever is marking it - a laser beam from one of our GeoMARK lasers, for example. However, when marking around the periphery of a round part, the part's surface area curves away from the laser beam, negatively affecting the mark the beam can make.

Similarly, a stylus in a pin marker or tooling in a roll marker may be able to strike a section of a round part but unable to reach the rest of it as the surface curves away. Using a rotary device with a laser or pin marker and special fixturing in a roll marker is critical for creating an even mark along the periphery of a round part during the marking process. 


Applications for rotary marking vary by industry, part size, mark specifications, and production requirements. 

Using a rotary device on a laser marking machine or a pin marking machine offers greater flexibility for a wide variety of parts and easy programmable changes.  Common laser marked or pin marked round parts include solid or thin-walled tubes, shafts, small valves, hydraulic hose fittings, automotive components, and more. 

Roll marking and rotary roll marking machines are best when there is high volume production with minimal changeover.  Examples of applications when roll marking or rotary roll marking is preferred include shock absorbers, aerospace fittings, lug nuts, sockets, welding tips, screws, drill bits, rods, precision measuring tools, center punches, and more.  




When choosing a marking solution for marking round parts, consider these questions:

  • How many different size parts are you marking?
  • How many parts per hour/per day?
  • Does the mark text change often or stay the same?
  • How many lines of characters do you need to be marked?
  • How big do you need the mark (or the characters in your mark) to be?
  • How deep of a mark do you need? Can the material be displaced or do you need a surface mark?
  • Will the mark undergo any post-processing such as painting or plating?
  • Are the parts a soft metal, thin-walled or hollow?
  • Do the parts need to be loaded and unloaded by hand? 
  • Are the parts able to roll for an automatic feed application?

With over 125 years of experience, we can help you choose the right marking solution. Email us or call us at 847-647-7117 to discuss your application. 

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At GT SCHMIDT, we design, build, and implement marking solutions that help manufacturers leave a lasting mark on their products, their companies, and their industries.

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