Selecting a suitable marking solution plays an important role in industrial identification. The expected environmental influences — contact with oils, chemicals, and UV light — can seriously impair the durability of the marking. The secret to a durable and therefore long-lasting marking lies in the optimal fine-tuning of the marking system, the printing method, and the marking material. The marking method also plays an important role here: thermal transfer printers for marking materials in mat, card, and roll format, high-speed printers with UV-LED technology, or laser direct markers.
The range of marking materials and formats that can be selected is also huge. Signs and labels come in various plastics, aluminum and stainless steel, and the formats include rolls, cards and mats. It is also important to know if the components to be marked already have a marking groove. How the marking labels are attached depends on this. For example, electronic devices usually only have flat surfaces. Gluing, screwing, and riveting are the most frequent mounting types alongside latching the signs in a marking groove. There are different types of glue used on the rear of labels. There are highly adhesive labels for structured surfaces or labels that are meant to be able to be removed without leaving a residue.
Product catalogs are often scoured or online research is done to navigate the variety of industrial marking options, but both are time-consuming and prone to errors. Many users wish there was an intelligent and mobile digital selection option that does not require any special prior knowledge in the field of industrial identification to make this job more efficient.
The “Marking system” app from Phoenix Contact, which includes information on the marking system, the printing method, and the marking material, now makes this possible. An “application guide” in the app provides the user with an easy and targeted introduction to the individual marking search based on four superordinate filter criteria.
Download the Marking system app on the App store or on Google play.
In the “Material properties” area, various application requirements are displayed that are related to the respective main property of a specific product group, such as highly adhesive or tamper-proof labels. The advantage of this method lies in the fact that in contrast to printed or common digital product catalogs, the user does not need to know the nomenclature of the respective product groups. The Application guide takes the user directly to the product group they are looking for. Additional filter criteria, such as printer, size, and color, can then be conveniently added to the displayed results list to further limit the number of hits. The app updates the number of hits in real time.
For example, if the user is looking for a label that is resistant to sodium hydroxide because their machines are occasionally cleaned with caustic soda, they can select the category “Resistance” to navigate to the marking solution that they are looking for. In the “Chemical resistance” filter, they can then choose between three different resistance levels: Standard, Medium, and High. This simplified categorization also makes a distinction among chemicals that have different concentrations. The standards listed provide information on how the labeled materials can be tested with the individual chemicals. If the user is not familiar with the listed standards, then they can consult the slideshow to learn about them directly in the app. Through this process, the user learns that the smear resistance of a marking is checked using the ISO 61010 standard or that storage tests are conducted using the ISO 175 standard.
To go back to our example, since the user only occasionally cleans their machines with caustic soda, a smear resistance to this chemical is completely sufficient to meet their requirements. This corresponds to the resistance level “Medium”. This clear and application-based bundling of chemical and mechanical properties of the marking materials simplifies the selection process greatly.
Digital added value
With the Marking system app, the user also has unlimited access to the complete digital data for the selected marking solution. All technical data is available at a glance. With regard to resistance against chemical and mechanical influences, the user also learns which marking system and, if the marking technology requires it, which printing method can achieve the respective resistance level. In addition, the user will find compatible ink ribbons, magazines, and marker carriers under “ Accessories”. This means that there is nothing standing in the way of a long-lasting marking solution anymore.
After the marking solution has been selected, the app can be used to design the label with just a few clicks and then print it out on-site. This combination of a mobile marking solution and a mobile printing system also makes it possible to flexibly re-label components and equipment directly on-site during maintenance and service work. Frequently-used marking solutions will appear on a product comparison or will be stored as finished marking projects.
Industrial identification made easy
Due to the increasing networking and complexity that goes hand-in-hand with the digital transformation, clear and permanent marking of all components, equipment and systems is relevant in all industries. Phoenix Contact provides more than 3,000 marking solutions for the variety of application-specific requirements. Phoenix Contact provides a digital, intelligent and efficient alternative to catalogs and brochures with the Marking system app to bring the selection process for professional marking in line with the application also accessible to employees who lack specialized knowledge of the process.
This digital solution in the form of an app speeds up processes as early as the planning phase — and also makes them more reliable. Since the underlying digital data is always up-to-date, the user will always choose the correct marking solution. The high degree of flexibility, even in the field, makes the digital solution an ideal tool for industrial identification. The Marking system app is available free of charge for smartphones and tablets from the Google Play Store and the Apple iTunes Store.
After an appropriate EID (equipment identification) has been selected and implemented, control cabinets will be serviced and modernized – usually decentrally, out in the field. For maintenance work, the equipment identification must be checked in the field and, if necessary, overhauled or even completely replaced. In order to ensure consistent equipment identification, especially for live components, assembly teams around the world service the control cabinets on-site. For this reason, decision-makers are placing more and more emphasis on implementing larger and more complex equipment identification projects as quickly and easily as possible, directly in the field.
Anyone who wants to print directly and flexibly at the location of use can use the THERMOMARK PRIME thermal transfer printer from Phoenix Contact. It has integrated marking software, an energy supply independent of the power grid and a user interface that can be operated intuitively. The automatic ink ribbon, magazine, and material detection system prevents printing errors and makes it easier to use the printer on-site. With more than 600 marker types for marking a wide range of applications, the THERMOMARK PRIME becomes a transportable mobile labeling center.