IMTS offers a wide range of marking technology for HOT or COLD metallurgical products to satisfy the customer requirements. Both robotics and traditional mechanical marking machines are available according to the customer preferences.

Smart Metal Markers

SmartMetalMarkers is a trademark assigned to high quality marking systems embedding advanced features, with high reliability. The advanced features, are focused on the improvement and monitoring of the fundamental technological functions and final result evaluation.

The worldwide market of metallurgical products is demanding improvements in quality controls and greater traceability leading toward the identification of the single piece of metal products.

Unmarked metal products generate additional costs, due to inspections and processes required to identify it, but above all, are not appreciated by end users.

Perfectly marked products, with a very high percentage, give an excellent impression to customers, to the benefit of sales.

The precise answer to all the aforementioned issues, lies in a marking system belonging to the SmartMetalMarkers family, accurately designed by IMTS making use of high specialized know-how and long specific experience.

SmartMetalMarkers is a trademark assigned to high quality marking systems embedding advanced features, with high reliability.

The advanced features, are focused on the improvement and monitoring of the fundamental technological functions and final result evaluation.

Main advanced features of SmartMetalMarkers are:

  • Product Image Analysis
  • Monitoring and Control of main technological functions
  • Partial or full redundancy of technological equipment
  • Detailed Log and Diagnostics
  • Automatic Marking Repetition

Image Analysis, of 2D or 3D image, returns properties, information or data of the product to be marked as:

  • Shape
  • Dimensions
  • Position and Orientation
  • Products counting
  • Profile
  • Barcode or Data Matrix readability

in order to specifically adapt the marking position on each product and to provide details for diagnostics. Just some examples are shown in the picture 1 – 4.  All images captured before and after marking cycle are stored and shown on HMI.

Monitoring and Control of main technological functions are key factors to improve the marking result and to provide details for diagnostics. Some examples are below synthesized.

  • Vacuum level, for tag holding, is continuously monitored and controlled by a double threshold.
  • MIG welding, for tag attaching, includes continuous monitoring of arc ignition and current flow.
  • PIN welding, for tag fixing, includes monitoring of ground contact and current flow and control of melting depth of pin.

The philosophy pursued, is not just execute the function, it treat to do it well.

Partial or full redundancy of technological equipment is implemented to successfully complete the marking cycle, reaching high global performance, even if some working conditions are not standard or in case of worn wear parts. Some examples are below described.

Tag holding is made by means of two completely independent vacuum circuits, each one able to ensure by-self the tag holding, providing diagnostic for the maintenance.

MIG welding of tag is done by means of two completely independent and simultaneous welding systems, each one able to fix the tag by-self, when unfortunately, the other has no chance to successfully weld, due to the presence of a deep groove on an uneven product.

Detailed Log and Diagnostics are generated thanks to the above mentioned specific sensors and software. Them include events, data and images, for a detailed documentation of the marking cycle useful for post-evaluations and statistics. Sometimes the customer just see some unmarked products in the line or store and first thought is “Marker is not functioning properly”. Is it most of times right?

Logged pictures, information and alarms immediately alert and help the customer to discover problems, unexpectedly out of marker responsibility, as: product out of nominal position, uneven surface or coiling, marking data or start signal missing, etc,.

The Automatic Marking Repetition, possible in case of tagging, helps to improve the global performance. At the end of the cycle, the system checks the code readability and in case of alarm, only if the function is enabled and some conditions are satisfied, the system starts automatically a new cycle. Most of times the second cycle successfully solve the problem usually generated by an uneven surfaces of the product, very tough to weld.

SmartMetalMarkers,  your Smart and profitable investment at reasonable price!

MARKING TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW

The customer needs are the key factors to select the best marking technology to be implemented in the marking system. Thanks to the specific IMTS know-how, the proposal will be focused on the suitable marking technologies. Follows a general overview of the main marking technologies.

Paint

Available for cold and hot surface, it allows to mark medium and large characters visible from long distance. The style can be 7 dots or continuous stroke. Data Matrix for automatic reading is also possible.

Ink

Typically used to mark cold surface on-line at high speed (up to 600 m/min). Marking heads are available in a wide range of resolution (7 - 64 dots) to mark characters, logo and Data Matrix. Many types of ink and colors are available.

Powder

Ceramic powder is blown on hot surface to melt on it. Typical application is marking of bigh characters on slab, just after the cut.

Arc Wire Spray

Two metallic wire are melt by electric arc and blown on hot surface. Typical application is marking of bigh characters on slab, just after the cut.

Stamping

Single PIN or Multi Pin (up to 21) stamping heads allow to indent dots on cold or hot surface to mark small characters, logos. In case of flat/even surface Data Matrix can be marked with good readability.

Laser

Laser marking can be obtained directly on surfaces or on pre-coated surfaces. Due to the low spot size any kind of marking/resolution is possible. Key points of the application are cycle time and available budget.

Metal Tag

Metal tags are marked by laser and applied automatically on the product to be marked. Wide range of metal tags are available to resist up to very high temperature, heat treatments and chemical bath also.

Self-Adhesive Label

Self-adhesive labels, typically printed by thermal transfer printer, are available in a very wide range of paper, plastics and special materials to survive for long time even if exposed to the atmospheric agents or high temperature. The high resolution of the thermal transfer printers, allow to print with an high density of information on small labels. Typically a robot picks the label up and applies it on the product to be marked. Strong or removable adhesive (residual free) are available.

Label

Similar to the above Self-adhesive labels, it can be applied on the product to be marked by pin, stud or hook.

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