Marking Types

There are two primary marking types: contact and non-contact. Take a closer look at both in this marking type breakdown.

Contact Marking

Hand Written

Using a pen to write information by hand is the simplest and most inexpensive marking method. Handwritten marks are effective when the number of manufactured products is low. However, data errors are common since people write the information.


Stamping can be divided into two major categories: hand pressing and machine pressing. Choosing the right stamping method is difficult, especially when multiple parts and products require marks.

If too little ink adheres to a surface, or the stamping pressure is too weak, the characters will be faint. On the other hand, if too much ink adheres to a surface, or the stamping pressure is too strong, the characters will be smudged.

Regardless of the method, stamping is not suited for marking curved surfaces or soft objects. Stamping characters can't be changed automatically either, so extra work is required when performing calendar or counter marking.


A printer or similar device creates labels that are later affixed to products, so the marks tend to be clear. However, label costs climb when more products are introduced. Additional time and effort must also be spent managing label inventory.

The other main problem with labeling is that the labels can peel off, resulting in missing characters.


Contact engraving involves denting the surface of a product, leaving behind a permanent mark. However, it is difficult to change the marking details. Contact engraving is also not suitable for high-accuracy applications since the marked products are subjected to impact.

Non-contact Marking

Inkjet Printers

Inkjet printers write characters on products by spraying them with ink. They can mark curved surfaces, soft objects, and even products moving at high speeds. Inkjet printers can also automatically update serial numbers and dates.

Laser Markers

Laser markers use mirrors to scan a focused beam of high-energy light across the surface of a part. Almost any marking pattern is possible, from characters to 2D codes to logos.

Laser markers require minimal maintenance and don't use consumables such as ink and solvent. Their marks are also permanent, making them the ideal system for many marking applications.