Outside of major engineering parts, a metal etching machine can also be used to make legible marks on common engineering tools such as callipers, wrenches, and drill bits. Some of these parts are incredibly small, making laser engraving a particularly suitable technology for marking characters that are still legible at 1-point size. In the case of callipers and other measuring tools, the precision and accuracy of the markings are key. The automated process of a metal etching machine delivers superior repeatability and consistency, ensuring that engineering measuring tools have ticks and readings that are marked and positioned accurately.
Engineering parts and tools go through a lot of stress under normal use. Pipe fittings come into constant contact with reactive fluids, motor parts are in a constant state of vibration, while the regular use of tools results in eventual wear and tear. For proper traceability, it is critical that essential marks can withstand abrasion, heat, and corrosive fluids. All of these are achievable by using a metal engraving machine, although different treatments can be used for different materials and applications.
It is also essential that the structural integrity of the part or tool marked does not suffer because of the etching process. A metal engraving machine removes only a thin layer of metal material to make permanent marks – not enough to cause any structural damage. The technology of annealing metal is especially interesting, as it does not remove material at all but instead alters the metal at a molecular level to result in a change of colour.