Marking services and engraving services mark and engrave products and parts. They perform processes such as 3D engraving, CNC engraving, rotary engraving, and scribing; dot peening and dot peen marking; dry offset printing and letterpress printing; and pad printing, screen printing, and silk printing. Marking services and engraving services may also perform embossing, debossing, sublimation transfer, hot stamping, indent marking, and waterjet or abrasive machining. Three-dimensional (3D) engraving is a routing technique which moves a tool bit independently along the up-and-down z-axis while still traveling an x/y-axis tool path. Computer numerical control (CNC) engraving is a high-accuracy, high-speed process that provides four-axis control. Rotary engraving uses carbide tools, either in a fixed or rotating position, to polish the surface of a material, or to display and remove surface material. Scribing uses a diamond or tungsten-carbide point to scribe text into a material through surface removal. Dot peening and dot peen marking are impact-marking techniques which produce a series of closely-spaced dots that resemble a solid line. By contrast, indent marking uses a stylus to indent the surface of the material. Embossing impresses a raised design onto a material and then applies ink or foil to the raised area. With debossing, the imprinted design causes depressions in the material.
Selecting marking services and engraving services requires an analysis of material capabilities, services offered, and printing capabilities. Materials that can be marked and engraved include: metals, plastics, rubber, glass, stone, marble, granite, composites and foam. There are five parameters for services offered: CAD/CAM support, design assistance, prototyping, short-run production, full-scale production, and inspection or quality control. Computer aided design (CAD) is often used to design products quickly and accurately. Computer aided manufacturing (CAM) can be used to fabricate products directly from CAD outputs. Printing capabilities for marking services and engraving services vary. Some companies print company logos or graphics, or apply markings with special inks that can be washed away with solvents. Others mark or engrave items with bar codes, matrix codes, universal product codes (UPC), or serial numbers. Marking services and engraving services that print certification or regulatory symbols enable manufacturers to indicate compliance with standards from organizations such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
Marking services and engraving services are located across the United States and around the world. They conform to a variety of certifications and regulatory standards, including AS 9000, AS 9100, and QS-9000. Markers and engravers follow four main quality standards from the International Standards Organization: ISO 9001:2000, ISO 14001, ISO 13485:2003, and ISO/TS 16949:2002. Some marking services and engraving services comply with U.S. military specifications (MIL-SPEC). Others are registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Companies that provide certifications for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specifications are also available.
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Laser Marking and Laser Engraving Services
Laser marking and laser engraving services use a computer-controlled laser beam to discolor the surface of a component, or engrave it by vaporizing the material.