Pryor Marking Technology has supplied a number of fully automated tag marking machines to Caterpillar for use on various components such as hydraulic hoses.
Over the past 24 months, Pryor Marking Technology has supplied fully automated tag marking systems to Caterpillar sites in Belgium, Japan, the UK and the USA, along with semi-automated systems to sites in China and the USA. Caterpillar is one of the world's leading manufacturers of earth moving and specialist heavy plant vehicles.
Pryor's ID Tag Marker is an advanced dot-peen marking and software system that can be designed to order and fully integrated with a customer's own software for supplying the data needed for marking. Aluminium tags are used to identify individual parts such as hydraulic hoses fitted to vehicles - and each part carries its own unique ID code. The tags may vary in length to a customer's requirements and contain details of the part number, place and date of manufacture in the form of a human-readable mark or it can include Data Matrix code as required. Producing these tags is a complex task that impacts directly on quality and costs.
Dot-peen marking transfers the relevant information onto the component or tag by means of a computer controlled carbide stylus. Depending on the size of the characters being marked, dot-peen marking can be undertaken at a rate of several characters per second. All materials with a hardness grade of up to 62 Rockwell C are suitable for marking by the dot-peen method (also known as rapid indent marking).
As an aluminium strip is fed through the Pryor ID Tag Marker a dot-peen mark is applied. Shop floor operatives can easily amend this information via a simple user interface. Marked tags are then progressed further through the equipment where they are cropped to size and pierced ready for attaching to the relevant parts. The Pryor system offers excellent uptime and reliability for maximum output.
David Copeland, applications engineer for Pryor, says: "Increasingly companies need to ensure full traceability of their products and, dependent on the application, dot-peen marking can be one of the most effective means of doing this. If the marking is not clear or accurate the component may not be used, which is an unnecessary waste of time and resources."