31 March 2020

Press release March 2020: machining time reduced by 85%

The cost-efficient alternative to laser marking: zeus marking tools

Marking components is an important part of the production process and mostly allows components and parts to be quickly and easily identified. But markings can also be used purely for decorative purposes on, for example, high-quality packaging.  Whatever the purpose of markings, they always have to be created with precision and as economically as possible. The solution: marking tools from Hommel+Keller Präzisionswerkzeuge GmbH.

To maximise productivity, it’s best to schedule the marking of parts early on in the production process. Thanks to the marking method employed by Hommel+Keller Präzisionswerkzeuge GmbH, users enjoy a clear advantage when it comes to efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Unlike methods such as laser marking, this method can be seamlessly integrated in the production process on the standard machining centres. The zeus marking tools can be used on all standard machine types such as swiss type, CNC-lathe, multi spindle, turning/milling centres and multi-spindle turning machines. “This means an end to manual retooling on separate machines, because the process of marking workpieces can now be integrated in the machining process. Users can also exchange the marking roll quickly and easily, which means that a tool can be used universally for different markings,” says Adrian Sunderer, product manager for zeus marking tools at Hommel+Keller Präzisionswerkzeuge GmbH.

Markings in a matter of seconds

The marking of a cork ring, for example, demonstrates the efficiency of the marking tools from Hommel+Keller Präzisionswerkzeuge GmbH compared with other procedures. Adrian Sunderer: “We were asked to emboss a metal cork ring with a diameter of 22 mm with 17 characters of uniform text. Since this was for a premium beverage, any compromise on quality or precision was out of the question. Since the ring is mass-produced, the marking process had to be both economical and straightforward.” Two methods were compared: laser marking and machining with a zeus marking tool. While laser marking takes 15 seconds per ring, the zeus tool needs only a fraction of the time at 2 seconds per ring – a time saving of 85 percent.

The revolving zeus marking tool 131 was used in combination with marking roll 40. This system is extremely cost-efficient especially for the recurrent marking of rotationally symmetrical components with a uniform diameter in large and medium-sized series. Carbide pins ensure high speeds and, in turn, short machining times. To ensure that it is highly resistant to wear and thus suitable for the demands of high-volume production, the marking roll used for the cork ring was made from cold-work steel and specially surface-hardened.

Precision for the perfect look and feel

“zeus marking tool 131 is not only quick and economical, but also extremely precise. This makes it perfect for markings that also have to look and feel good – like those on the cork ring. The marking roll, which is precisely tailored to the application, is rolled evenly over the workpiece. This ensures high process reliability, uniform marking with a high degree of dimensional accuracy and 100% reproducibility,” says Adrian Sunderer. As is normally the case with the revolving marking method, the tool achieves the required embossing depth through multiple continuous rotations of the marking roll. Since the size of the marking roll depends on the diameter of the workpiece and the marking roll is engaged with the workpiece throughout the entire embossing process, precise concentricity is essential for consistent high-precision machining and the clarity of the lettering.

Adrian Sunderer: “When marking the cork ring, our tool not only achieved the skilful combination of a high-quality look and feel, but also helped to reduce machining and tooling times. The elimination of transit and idle times also helps to reduce unit costs and increase cost-effectiveness.”

More flexibility with the spring-return system

If you want maximum flexibility when it comes to marking components, the spring-return system is the perfect choice. The series 432 tools in particular are incredibly flexible. Their exchangeable segments allow inexpensive text modifications with variable markings on different component geometries. Thanks to their compact design, the series 422 tools with a fixed marking roll are ideal for markings on machines with limited space. Complete segment carrier and marking roll units can be replaced quickly and easily, allowing for shorter retooling times.