Switching To Automated Marking Boosts More Than Productivity


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Hy-Tech Machine Company (Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania) supplies worldwide customers with its main product line of air tools and precisely machined components, accessories and other industrial tools. The company has long needed an efficient and precise way to engrave manufacturing date and source, part and serial numbers, and special information to mark flat tags as well as rotary marking directly onto the component parts.

This job was previously done manually, but switching from hand marking its flat and rotary mounted equipment tags to an automated marking and identification system has not only increased productivity by 15 percent, it has given Hy-Tech many other time and cost savings over the last 6 months since a new system was installed.

According to Keith Friedline, project manager at Hy-Tech, "After a search of existing marking systems, Matthews was found to be the most effective and economical one available for our application."

When the company found the Pro·Point Model 2324 programmable indent marking system from Matthews International (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), it was able to take advantage of many of the key and side benefits of this particular stylus marker. Among these are 90 percent less time to identify critical quality information; the versatility of being able to clearly mark either painted, plated or raw metal tag surfaces; a dramatic reduction in tag rejects and scrap; superior marking clarity and improved consistency from tag to tag; greater job flexibility of employees; and plant-wide portability of marking activity.

The Pro·Point Model 2324 marking system, according to shop supervisor Herb Poore, produces the same quality imprint of Hy-Tech's tags as laser etchers, which "only mark the tag superficially and wear off in time." He and Mr. Friedline stressed the growing importance of reliable marking of the company's machines and parts because of the vital role it plays in part tracking, general traceability and in liability matters to document proof of manufacture.

In addition to being able to create custom logos, graphics and text—and printing this information on parts—Hy-Tech likes the system's rugged construction and small footprint for production line use. The equipment fires a single solid carbide stylus to form legible characters in sizes from 1/32 inch to 2 inches in either dot matrix or Gothic fonts.

"We immediately mounted the system on a portable cabinet to be able to move it anywhere in the plant, giving us total portability," Mr. Friedline says. "And as for toughness of the component and tag markings, they can be used in heavy construction environments, including acids and salts, which normally wipe out laser markings."

A key element in the company's choice of device was its equally adept handling of both flat and rotary mounted tags, as well as its marking directly onto finished components, according to Mr. Poore.

Because Hy-Tech's own products are used in widely differing industrial situations, the versatility and permanence of its own tags are vital to the company's success. The pneumatic air tools it makes are sold to companies such as Rolls Royce, Conoco, Shell and Boeing and to applications in oil fields, truck fleets, foundries, welding shops, mines and aircraft.

Mr. Friedline concludes, "In contrast to the old manual tag marking, now an employee can do his regular job and marking simultaneously, which is responsible for a big part of our higher productivity."

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