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Comparing Vibra Peen and Scribing

by Ryan Pillar
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Vibra Peen and Scribing

Scribe or Impact?

With a wide array of direct part marking technologies, it can be hard to know which will be the right fit for you, especially when comparing seemingly similar marking equipment. 

A question that comes up from time to time is “should I go with a scribe unit or a Vibra Peen™ unit?”  Regardless of scribe or Vibra Peen, both of these technologies are direct impact marking types and each has their pros and cons. 

How Vibra Peen and Scribe Pin Markers Work

Before going into the pros and cons of each technology, let’s better define Scribe and Vibra Peen.

A Scribe unit pushes a hardened stylus into the material, then the machine drags the stylus through the material.  On the other hand, Vibra Peen systems use a stylus to impact the part rapidly, leaving a series of individual dots that are spaced tightly enough together to appear as a solid line.

Pin Mark Examples

Noise During Marking

Advantage: Scribe

A main factor for choosing scribe over Vibra Peen is noise.  Because of their operational mode, the scribe machines are inherently quieter than their Vibra Peen cousins. 

Of course, the noise of Vibra Peen can be amplified or deadened some depending on the part you are marking.  A 10 foot long, 6 inch diameter stainless steel pipe will amplify a dot peen mark sound, where as a solid chunk of aluminum will help to absorb much of the sound waves. 

If you were to scribe the above mentioned pipe and aluminum blocks, you wouldn’t hear much but the initial impact of the stylus into the material. 

While louder by comparison, consider that in some instances, the sounds of the Vibra Peen may be the quietest operation in the plant!  If your manufacturing facility has some hearing dB thresholds to stay under, the noise plays much more of an impact on your decision, although we have customized dot peen machines within noise reducing enclosures in the past.

Portability of Marking Equipment

Advantage: Vibra Peen

There is no portable scribe unit.  That’s it, really.  Because of the twisting forces imparted on the part by dragging the stylus through the material, you must have the part firmly secured in order to scribe effectively. The Vibra Peen units win this category hands down. 

Vibra Peen has minimal force side-to-side, so it can be offered in a pistol grip style so that you can bring the marker to the part.  If you cannot fixture your parts, or you must bring the marking system to the part, then Vibra Peen units would be your solution.

Appearance and Speed of the Mark

Advantage: Tie

“Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder.”

A scribe unit will leave the cleanest mark, but that’s not to say Vibra Peen is not a great looking mark!  With both direct impact technologies resulting in an attractive and easily readable mark, the mitigating factors for your decision may lie with the previous categories and how your parts and production fall in line.

When it comes to cycle time, both technologies are fast in their own right.  The primary point to keep in mind is the time to fixture and secure the part should you choose scribe.

Summary

Are you still having trouble deciding?  If so, let MECCO help you out.  Send in some sample parts and we will mark them in our lab with both the MC2000 Scriber and the MC2000 SuperFast with Vibra Peen™ technology, and we’ll supply a full laboratory sample marking report with your completed samples. 

Plus you’ll get the expertise of a team and a company that’s sole purpose over the past 125 years is traceability and part marking.  Let The MECCO Experience guide you in with your next project!

Ryan Pillar
Sales Engineer

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