- Written by Jen Mikus
Powder coating is a fascinating method to protect products while giving them a beautiful look. Even if you don’t understand how powder coating works, you can tell something is “not painted”. The color seems to be part of the product, not a layer on top. Therein lies the challenge to identify products before they are powder coated, hoping to be able to read that identity afterwards.
InfoSight leads the way devising innovative solutions to tough identification problems. We’ve done it again with PowderMask™. PowderMask™ is a tag designed to be applied to a product before it is powder coated. Just like all InfoSight tags, you can put whatever information you want on it. Your company name, product name, serial number, barcodes? Yes, they can all go on the tag. A logo too? Sure! LabeLase® Producer™ is our super easy tag designing software that limits you only by the size of the tag and your imagination.
Back to PowderMask™ - so you have an identification tag applied to your product. Then you have to prepare it for powder coating. Chemical or abrasive cleaning might wipe out the information on some tags, but not ours. Then you powder coat it and cure it. Afterward – you read the tag – go ahead, scan it with a barcode reader – all of your information is still available.
InfoSight sales representative Brian Schlatterbeck says, “We are pleased to add PowederMask™ to our line of fabricator tags. We have customers who are excited to be able to identify their products before being powder coated and have that identity intact after curing."
If it sounds too good to be true, contact your InfoSight representative or visit us at the Powder Coating Institute’s technical conference in Orlando, July 13-16 2021. You may have to see it to believe it, but we are happy to show you.
- Written by Jen Mikus
When I think of robots, my first thought is always something like “Rosie” from the Jetsons. Even now, working at InfoSight and having been around the common robotic arm used to move and use various tools to perform repeatable tasks, Rosie still pops into my head. Just for fun, I looked her up and found this 2019 article from Emerging Ed Tech about all the cool stuff from the Jetsons that are common to us now. You can read that here.
The reality is that common industrial robots look nothing like Rosie but are still used to do jobs that are easily repeatable or dangerous for humans. Using automated systems to identify metal products is more efficient, more accurate, and safer - this is InfoSight’s specialty. Many of our marking technologies are designed for very hot products (over 1000oF/540oC). They create different messages on each piece, including unique serial numbers and barcodes, in seconds. Information is downloaded directly from the customer’s system, eliminating the chance of human error. This can all be accomplished with traditional or robotic automation.
InfoSight began using robots several years ago. One of the earliest applications of a robot in an InfoSight system was for a bar and pipe spray marking system. This customer required up to 16 different colors sprayed in specific variable patterns on the ends of pipes and bars. A second robot was added for end painting, colorband painting, and positioning a camera for remote visual inspection of pipes. The available space in the customer’s plant was very small, making the robot the perfect solution. It included interchangeable End of Arm Tools (EOAT), of which most were spray nozzles to accommodate all of the colors. One of the tools was the camera and a laser sensor for detecting the position of the product.
The small available footprint and quick cycle time is a common driving factor for using robotic automation. In another application, InfoSight needed to mark the inside diameter of the tailing end of one pipe and the leading end of the next. InfoSight utilized our direct laser marking technology which includes a special white patch that is darkened with a laser to create the message. The EOAT included all of the marking components in a tube that rotated 180o to mark then leading end of one pipe, turn around, and mark the tailing end of the previous. Watch the Robotic Inside Diameter Laser Marking System here.
In another recent application, InfoSight incorporated an InfoDent® 8400 stamping head on a robot for a hot plate marking system. The robot remains behind a heat shield until the plate is in marking position. The robot uses a laser sensor to detect the trailing edge of the plate and then moves the stamper out to the plate and marks in multiple locations on the 2000oF (1100oC) plate. Watch the Robotic Plater Marking System here.
While InfoSight is not sending Rosie to clean your house, we can integrate any of our marking technologies onto a robot, providing customers with custom automated marking systems with small footprints and quick cycle times. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.
- Written by Jen Mikus
InfoSight is excited to be back in action at AISTech2021, June 29-July 1, 2021 in Nashville, TN. We have a variety of expertise to share with current and potential customers. Below is a preview of who you’ll meet and what you’ll see when you visit InfoSight at Booth 1602.
Our metal tags and laser printers are must haves for steel producers who need to identify and track their steel from the moment it’s formed until its end use. We will have two LabeLase® printers on hand to demonstrate how easy it is to design and print tags. The LL1000 is the most popular model, with decades of proven performance. The LL3000 is about three times faster than the LL1000 and is designed for increased production and more data on bigger tags. Joe Morelli, Jeff Good, and Brian Schlatterbeck will be on hand to answer any questions you have about our tags and printers.
Our custom engineering and automation group is excited to demonstrate how we can integrate our marking technologies with robotic automation to reduce the footprint and decrease cycle times for our marking systems. Identification marking technologies include InfoDent® 8400 Stamper, I-Dent® Stencil Marker, Direct Laser Marking, and Tagging with one of InfoSight’s durable metal tags. We will also be demonstrating the InfoDent®8400. This stamp marking system is perfect for any surface condition, at any temperature, and creates permanent, easy to read marks in seconds. Our engineers can also tackle applications from custom stands to fully automated systems. Mike Lanning, Daren Givens, Jon Ekvall, and Ron Workman will be at the booth to discuss our custom engineering and automation capabilities.
InfoSight has been providing identification and traceability solutions to the steel industry since the early 1990’s. We have a solutions oriented culture at InfoSight. If you have an application where identification is problematic, if you need a process automated, if you are looking for innovative solutions to help you increase productivity – InfoSight can help.
Visit InfoSight.com now.
- Written by Jen Mikus
InfoSight is known to provide identification and traceability solutions to the metals industries, but did you know we can do the same for many other industries? The term “metals industry” casts a wide net, and different applications require different tags and printers. The Industry Resources tab on our website is designed to help our customers find the identification tags and labels that are most suitable for their application.
We have eight (8) tabs to steer visitors to our website in the right direction:
Asset Inventory Control – This tab is for government applications, schools, offices, food service, hospitals, and laboratories that need to identify and track mobile assets in a variety of environments. From durable identification of laptops that are checked out to lasting barcodes on carts subject to harsh cleaning chemicals, InfoSight has several recommendations to identify and track these valuable assets.
Industrial MRO & LDAR – Industrial Maintenance and Leak Detection and Repair programs require significant documentation. Barcoding components saves time during the documentation of maintenance. InfoSight’s metal tags are designed to be easily readable and durable in these industrial settings – standing up to high temperatures, chemical exposure, and UV exposure.
Industrial Equipment Manufacturing - It is important to be able to identify and track a product through the manufacturing, distribution, and sale of the equipment. InfoSight’s tags are an efficient tool for manufacturers to identify their products for a lifetime.
Metals - Identifying products in the metals industry is InfoSight’s specialty. We understand the complexities and importance of identifying various products that may all look the same. Since the introduction of InfoTag® High Temperature tag, InfoSight has expanded our capabilities to identify products in a wide variety of harsh environments.
Fabricators & Galvanizers - Tracking pieces from their initial form through to the end use can be difficult as labels are sometimes removed or destroyed during galvanizing, painting, or powder coating. InfoSight’s metal tags are specifically designed to be applied once and have the tag and barcode survive all processing – so the right piece gets to the right place at the right time.
Forging – InfoSight’s tags for forging survive the extreme heat of anneal ovens, in multiple heat cycles, as well as quenching and chemical treatments that would destroy normal tags.
Concrete & Construction - Accurately tracking steel, concrete, and other parts through the construction process is a significant factor in managing both time and money. InfoSight’s durable barcoded tags that are attached to a piece early on remain intact and readable as they are processed, moved, stored, and delivered to a job sit.
Extreme Applications – There are many other applications where normal tags and labels are not sufficient for the job. Extremely hot – over 2000oF (1100oC) or extremely cold temperatures can degrade many materials and render barcodes unreadable, as can exposure to many chemicals. InfoSight develops tags that can handle all of these environments.