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Amada Miyachi Blog

Weighing the Pros & Cons of the Major Marking Methods

Posted by Mark Boyle on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 @ 11:44 AM

Not long ago, I discussed some of the factors you should consider when deciding which marking technology to use:  material type, part function, geometry, surface finish/roughness, coating, mark quality, mark dimension/part size, and serialization - all play a part in this process. Today’s post digs a bit deeper into selecting the right marking technology for your specific application by looking at a concise listing of the pros and cons of each of the major marking technologies: inkjet, dot peen, chemical etching, and laser marking.


Inkjet marking is an on-the-fly, non-contact marking process accomplished by forcing pressurized ink through a nozzle. There are two inkjet system types, drop on demand (DOD) and continuous ink jet (CIJ). In either case, the part must be moving to make a mark.

injet marking pros and cons


Dot Peen

Dot peen or “pin stamping” is a contact marking process in which pneumatically or electro-mechanically driven single or multiple carbide styluses create a mark by physically indenting the surface of the material by impact.

dot peen marking pros and cons   

Electro-Chemical Etching

In this process, the mark is created as material is removed by “forced corrosion” using a mask to produce an “oxide” black surface effect, or an “etched” mark where the image is engraved into the material.

pros and cons of chemical etching   

Laser Marking

Laser marking is a very fast, non-contact process in which a laser beam, steered by mirrors mounted onto galvo motors, produces the mark which can be shallow enough to be little more than a color change, or a deeper, engraved mark.

pros and cons of laser marking  

These lists should be complete enough to help you narrow down your choices.  But if you need a little help – and since we do manufacture laser markers, and I would be remiss if I didn’t make a pitch for the technology: direct part marking, done with a laser, is faster, more permanent, has a low amortized cost of ownership, uses no consumables, and doesn’t require any other, related processes to ensure mark durability.

Want to see what a laser mark looks like on your parts?  Send us a few!  We’ll mark them to your specifications and return them with a full report.

Topics: laser marking, laser engraving, marking methods, laser markers, laser marker, laser ablation, laser annealing

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