Operators at Ingersoll Rand’s road development division in Shippensburg, Pa., were tasked with manually marking a seventeen-digit serial number on every machine using hand stamps and hammers.
Heath Ocker, Procurement Engineer of Ingersoll-Rand’s road development division implemented a continuous improvement project. The project entailed purchasing and installing eight computer-controlled marking systems from MECCO.
Prior to the new marking systems, operators were manually marking a seventeen-digit serial number on every machine using hand stamps and hammers. Hand stamping has several disadvantages when compared to computer-controlled marking:
1) It is time consuming for the operators to search for the correct stamps and mark the serial number one character at a time
2) The stamps fracture, posing a danger associated with the fragments that have been shown to both injure and kill workers
3) Marking quality is heavily dependent on the user and is inconsistent
4) Errors occur in placing the characters on the part, resulting in a “bad” serial number
5) The stamps wear quickly when composed of heat-treated steel
Heath saw these negatives and realized that he could both increase operator efficiency and safety by implementing multiple dot-peen marking systems in place of the traditional hand-stamping process. The SuperFast portable marking system is composed of a marking head that the operator holds onto the part and a tethered control unit (up to 30’ away from marking head) into which the operator inputs the text via a keyboard interface. The total marking string of seventeen characters, which in Ingersoll Rand’s case represented the vehicle identification number (VIN), is being marked onto every machine in less than half a minute per mark.
Implementation of a computer-controlled marking system for the road development division of Ingersoll Rand.