Materials Used In Plate Marking

Plate marking offer flexible and adaptable solutions for creating lasting marks on a range of metal materials including:

  • Stainless steel
  • Mild steel
  • Aluminum
  • Titanium
  • Titanium alloys
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Carbides
  • Hardened metals
  • Coated metals

Common Uses Of Plate Engraving

Marking provides legibility and permanency to text marks, layout lines, and weldment marking. Metal cutting machines can create lasting marks for traceability and more.

The most common functions of a plate engraving machine include the following.


An engraving machine displaces surface material to create deep, lasting marks on a plate. Using a CNC engraver can provide consistent, even marks that can endure harsh environments and be visible under various material coatings.

Four depictions of different types of plate marking on various materials, each featuring numbers and letters for identification purposes.


Similar to engraving, etching is a plate marking process that disturbs the surface of a material to produce visible marks, though etching results in much shallower, less durable marks. Etching is commonly used to produce detailed images or temporary markings. CNC marking tools, as well as lasers and dot peen markers, are often used for etching purposes.

Surface Marking

Unlike etching and engraving, surface marking primarily refers to plate markings made without disrupting the surface of a material; instead, surface markings involve adding something, such as paint or ink, to a plate for enhanced contrast. Surface marks tend to be highly legible but less durable than marks made by etching or engraving machines.

History Of Laser Engraving And Plate Marking

Laser engraving utilizes laser technology to create durable, lasting marks on a surface, typically made of metal. Early laser cutters for manufacturing purposes were developed in the 1960s to drill holes in diamonds, but their applications quickly expanded, extending to laser cutting practices within a few years and building upon computerized engraving machines within a decade.

Today, laser engraving and plate marking technology continues to advance, providing efficiency, precision, and standardization to laser marking initiatives.

Plate marking provides an easy, efficient way to track and catalogue materials or products; barcodes, which were not invented and widely adopted until the 1980s, have proven to be immensely productive in tracking the production, distribution, and sale of materials and goods, and plate marking provides the same benefit to manufacturers and distributors.

Messer Cutting Machines Plate Markers

Messer Cutting Systems offers a number of plate marking solutions to provide exceptional marks according to your specific needs.

Air Scribe

With exceptionally smooth, soft motion, the Air Scribe creates consistent and accurate marks on plates of virtually any thickness. This metal scribe machine uses a reciprocating pin, pneumatic cylinder motion control, and sleeve-bearing mounting to accurately place the tool and produce quality marks.

The pneumatic Air Scribe is a popular choice for especially detailed and precise plate marking operations. This economical plate marking machine consumes less than 1 CFM and is remarkably lightweight. It is equipped with a high strength carbide-tipped point. Using an Air Scribe marker can allow you to effectively inscribe:

  • Names
  • Custom designs
  • Part numbers
  • Serial numbers
  • Assembly instructions

The Air Scribe is available on all Messer machine models except for the MetalMaster 2.0 and SicoMat®.

Zinc Powder

Powder plate marking utilizes zinc powder and a specially designed torch to produce precise marks on a material surface. By melting lines of zinc powder on a workpiece with a targeted flame, a zinc powder marking machine can produce high-contrast lines for alphanumeric text and other desired marks, both continuous and intermittent.

The lines produced with this method are approximately 1 mm wide, which is ideal for fine, precise marking. Each vial containing 50 grams of zinc powder can be used to mark over 1000 yards of lines, making it a cost-effective practice.


For damage-free, efficient surface marking, the Inkjet plate marking machine is a great option. These marking machines produce quick, accurate marks with black ink on plate surfaces. Inkjet markers use dye-based ink that dries in three to five seconds and will not wipe off with water.

The Inkjet machine from Messer is available in three models for various applications:

  • Single Jet (single dot).
  • Multi-Jet Fixed (7 dot).
  • Multi-Jet with Rotation (7 dot).

Telesis® Pinstamp®

Using a hardened pin, Telesis® Pinstamp® machine marking produces efficient text or line marks on plate surfaces with indented dot matrix characters. Character size, density, shape, and location is determined by Global Control, and the marking head uses pneumatic acceleration as it guides the pin cartridge along axes to reach the proper marking positions.

An example of marking on a block consisting of two different types of material. Evenly-spaced dots create a rectangular frame across both materials, at the center of which “Messer” is inscribed in all-capital letters.

Benefits Of Using A Messer Cutting Machine For Engraving PlatE

At Messer Cutting Systems, we can help you find the best tool for the job. There are many benefits of using an optional CNC engraver from Messer when marking plates.

Easy To Use

Regardless of the model you choose, marking plates with Messer machines is designed to make operation easy, simple, and efficient. Using a plate marking machine can allow you to create clear, legible marks without any contact with the surface, making the process safer, as well.

Intelligent Software

With intelligent software from Messer Cutting Systems, plate cutting machines are equipped to handle a variety of tasks and materials with precision and ease. Through automation, these machines can require limited maintenance and additional labor requirements, making them scalable and highly productive.

Stable & Efficient

The use of a Messer engraving, etching, or surface marking machine can allow you to make marks on different materials, even when they have uneven or irregular surfaces. By programming your marking machine appropriately, you can achieve standards of high quality and exceptional efficiency for steady, speedy, and repeatable results.

Saves Time

Automating your marking processes can drastically improve your productivity, thereby saving you time. When you use a Messer laser cutting machine with marking, you benefit from quick, accurate, and high-quality marks that can be replicated without error or delay.

Cost Effective

With a CNC plate marking and cutting machine, you can save money by reducing the need for frequent maintenance and additional labor. Additionally, with an automated marking tool, you can limit the number of errors made, reducing the amount of product you waste as well as the amount of time you need to spend amending mistakes.

Key Features Of Effective Tool Marking

Effective plate marking processes will be consistent and efficient, allowing you to efficiently mass produce various markings on designated surfaces.

Visible Marks

Plate marking machines should produce clear, visible, durable marks on designated surfaces. Depending on the process used as well as the type of marking made, the durability and legibility may vary, but it is important that the machine creates marks that are visible, even when painted over. These marks usually include items such as:

  • Text
  • Logos
  • Pictures
  • Serial numbers
  • Dates
  • 2D codes
  • Barcodes


With automated CNC marking tools, you will have fewer errors in your work, as manual marking practices will not be necessary. By eliminating human error from the marking process, your company will save time and money.


There are a number of different marking tools available depending on the type of material you want to mark, the marks you want to make, the scale of your operations, and the desired durability of the marks.

Industrial Applications Of CNC Plate Engraving

Metal, especially steel, plate marking tools can be used in a number of industrial applications. Some of the most popular industries that utilize machine marking include the following.


Laser plate marking machines provide exceptional traceability for automotive parts with high-precision, high-efficiency marking capabilities. Marking plates with Messer machines can be used to mark essential parts and engrave important information, such as VIN numbers and asset tags.


The aerospace industry maintains high standards of quality and accuracy due to the highly technical needs of its manufacturing and assembly processes. With efficient laser marking systems from Messer, the aerospace industry benefits from precise, readable, traceable markings. Using automated plate marking technology can be used for aerospace parts such as:

  • Motor units
  • Gear parts
  • Turbine blades and rings
  • Maintenance equipment
  • Prototypes
  • Fuel systems
  • ID plates


Many of the parts manufactured for the electronics industry are small and precise, requiring accurate labeling and management. With a laser plate marking machine, electronics parts can be made easy to track, manage, organize, and distribute with clearly-visible, identifying marks.


When manufacturing medical parts and products, marking machines can ensure all pieces meet UDI requirements, which mandates that medical parts can be efficiently and properly identified. Meeting these requirements allows healthcare organizations to manage and track manufactured parts and devices, and with the proper identification engraved on medical parts, it becomes easier to trace malfunctions and hold manufacturers accountable when applicable.


Messer Cutting Systems, Inc.

W141 N9427 Fountain Blvd.
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051


+1 262-255-5520
+1 262-255-5170
Contact Us

Plate Markers From Messer