Capabilities - Label Printing on Metal Parts
At Short Run Pro we are often asked to print or mark metal parts in our production process. There are a number of reason a client may desire to mark at part including: part identification, labeling for part use and aesthetic purposes.
When desiring a printed or marked metal part it is important to understand manufacturing limitations and the costs associated with the marking of metal parts.
Types of Part Markings
Laser Etching - a metal part can be laser etched while going through the cutting process. Laser etching basically involves use of the laser cutter to cut out (not through) the metal part in a pattern such as an identification number. Laser etching is a less expensive form of labeling a part, however, the etching will be industrial in appearance and should not be used when aesthetics are important.
Stamping - it is possible through stamping to mark a metal part with a part number or other identifying symbols. This process often requires the part to also be stamp and the identifying mark should be incorporated into the die used to create the metal part. This type of part labeling is generally restricted to larger run productions.
Ink Stamping - another way of labelling a metal part is by using an ink stamp that is created to stamp a number or mark on the part after completion of the production process. The cost of the stamp is minimum. However, depending on the location of the stamp and the number and type of parts manufactured, the stamping processes is manual and can be time consuming. This can increase the cost of the ink stamp processing. This is a good solution for lower run metal part labelling.
Screen Printing - a metal part can be screen printed or pad printed. This process is often used when the finished part printing is visible and has to be aesthetically pleasing. Screen printing of metal parts more often than not a process that has to be contracted out since most manufacturers do not have printing equipment. This makes this process very costly and should only be designed into a part when absolutely necessary.
As a normal part of Short Run Pro’s production process we can provide laser etching and ink stamping. These processes are often used only in instances where an industrial type marking is acceptable and the appearance of the marking on the metal part is not important. We can also provide screen printing pricing which is generally very expensive. Stamped labelling of metal parts is only provided for parts run through our stamping production in higher quantities.