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Plasma marking versus marking by milling - plate processing

Plasma marking and marking by milling are both suitable processes for marking your parts. Which of these two marking methods is more suitable depends on factors such as your amount of markings, your operational costs and your ROI. Read more about it in this article.

Marking by plasma

Marking by plasma creates a surface discoloration and vaporizes a small amount of material. Plasma marking is possible with all high definition plasma sources meaning that no significant extra capital expenditures are necessary to use this functionality on Voortman’s plasma cutting machines. Only some extra gas bottles with specific marking gases are required and the functionality can be used.

The standard gas of choice Argon will have a more negative effect on consumable life than the standard cutting gases and a rule of thumb is that when every part needs marking, the consumable life goes down by 30-40% because of the aggressive Argon. This depends on the total marking duration per nest but also on the duration of marking continuously without in-between pauses for cutting some parts. In theory the costs of such a mark made by plasma can therefore be calculated based on the strain on the consumables.

Marking by milling

Marking with a milling tip also requires consumables. The milling tip will wear with every meter marked. The advantage with marking by milling is that the carbide tip used with Voortman Steel Machinery has four useable sides. So the tip can be turned four times before you require a new one.

Based on customer data it can be seen that marking operational costs with a carbide tip are only 50% of the marking operational costs required for plasma marking while speeds don’t vary much. Marking by milling is by definition a cheaper method of marking however requires extra capital expenditures. Whether this is interesting for your production all depends on the fact if you already can create and justify the right ROI for a drilling unit on your plasma machine. If the drilling unit is available, the capital expenditures are minor and ROI for marking by milling is astonishing. If a separate unit is required for the marking by milling tool, ROI rates plump down and marking by plasma becomes the process of choice, of course merely looking at costs.

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