New Case Study: Dependable Marking for Metal Traceability

New Case Study: Dependable Marking for Metal Traceability

During my tenure working with the large steel manufacturers in Southern Ontario, one thing I learned early in my career was the importance of a bullet-proof traceability system that would relate the raw material (slabs or billets) to the end product (car doors, frames, metal roofs, etc.).  I even remember workers in fire-retardant suits trying to get close enough to hot slabs that they could mark them by hand with a white marker on an extended stick! Clearly, the industry needed more effective solutions.

Accurate, reliable traceability is crucial for identifying parts and materials and for tracking products. Historically, the aluminum industry glued aluminum plates or paper stickers incorporating barcode information to an element’s surface in order to trace products, an approach that brings a number of challenges including:

  • Compromised Traceability: Stickers and plates are prone to failing and falling off. If that happens, the product loses all its traceability.
  • Consumable Costs: Labels cannot be reused once they’re marked, which generates consumable costs.
  • Space Restrictions: Ink jet and pin stamp marking limits the amount of information that can be marked.

This decade has seen a number of advancements for improving the accuracy of tracking, from beginning to end, a product’s movements through the development lifecycle, improving the overall performance of the product supplied to customers.

Rotalec’s application, recently implemented in the aluminum industry, has embraced these advancements. As you will see, we were able to develop a solution that exceeded our customer’s expectations.

Industry-Leading Solutions for Accurate, Reliable Traceability

Rotalec provided an innovative solution to overcome our aluminum customer’s issues, incorporating a laser marking system suited to printing both 1D and 2D labels directly onto aluminum products. The client could then manufacture permanently marked aluminum ingots, resulting in:

  • No chances of lost traceability since barcodes are permanently engraved on products.
  • Decreased consumable costs associated with individual labels.
  • Increased reliability, as barcodes can be double-checked through an integrated vision system.
  • Better use of space, letting clients etch more information (including weight, batch, etc.) into a smaller space.

Click here to read the full case study and learn more about Rotalec’s cutting-edge solution!


Rotalec provides traceability solutions suitable for any industry, including for challenging materials like steel and aluminum. Contact us today to learn how our products and services can benefit your business!

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