Automated systems for identifying coils in the metals industry
  • Info-Tagger™ Automatic Coil Tagging

    Info-Tagger® Automatic Coil Tagging

    Many mills throughout the world are turning to automated equipment to do their identification. Until now, there has been no reliable system to automatically print and apply high quality bar coded tags to hot slabs, thereby reducing man-hours.

  • Case Study: Riverdale Steel Mill Marking Hot-Rolled Coils with Original InfoSight X-Y Marker for 26 years


    When Raytheon was building a new steel coil mill for ACME Steel at their Riverdale, IL facilities in the 1990’s, they installed an InfoSight X-Y Stencil Marker to identify each new hot-rolled coil.  Twenty-six years later, after excellent maintenance by the mill personnel and one partial rebuild, the Cleveland Cliffs facility is still operating the X-Y Stencil Marker and it is in great operating condition.  Now Cleveland Cliffs has decided it’s time to upgrade the electronics.      


    Case Study

    There has been steel making at Riverdale, IL since 1910.  What began as ACME Steel briefly became ISG, ArcelorMittal, and it is now owned by Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc.  ACME Steel tapped Raytheon Engineering to build a new steel coil mill at this location in the 1990s.  This location produces hot-rolled coil products, including high carbon and alloy grades. 

    InfoSight is a manufacturer of industrial marking machines, metal tags, metal tag printers, barcode readers, and custom machinery for manual and automatic identification and traceability applications worldwide.  InfoSight employs nearly 70 people, most of whom are located in the Chillicothe, OH headquarters and manufacturing facility.  

    Identification of products is important in any industry, but it is particularly difficult for steel products, specifically hot steel products.  InfoSight was a brand-new company when Raytheon choose them to build a marking machine to identify coils at the new mill.  InfoSight delivered an “X-Y Stencil Marker”.  The X-Y Continuous Character Marking system is designed to automatically print (ink stencil) durable, high quality alphanumeric characters on cast shapes and coils at high temperatures.  It is fully programmable, with the capability of automatically incrementing the number printed on each consecutive coil.  Characters from 1 inch (25mm) to 6 inches (152mm) tall are printed with a specially formulated water-based ink, resulting in a mark that is extremely resistant to high temperatures, harsh weather, and rough handling.  

    In the early 1990s, ACME Steel operated a smaller hot strip mill at this location.  In order to be viable in a more competitive market and increase sustainability, they enlisted Raytheon Engineering to build a compact strip processing mill in this location.  As a result, raw materials and liquid metal are converted into a customer ready product in about 90 minutes.  With the need for any reheating steps eliminated, energy and money are saved.  As part of this project, Raytheon chose InfoSight to provide the X-Y Stencil Marker to identify the hot-rolled steel coils.  

    The marker was designed and built at InfoSight’s Chillicothe facility, then installed and commissioned in the new Riverdale mill in 1996. While the startup went well, a few changes were made, and a few lessons were learned during the commissioning process.  The original ink type was changed because the initial choice settled more than expected.  The ink reservoirs were changed from two (2) Liter bottles to larger 2.5-gallon pressure pots, and eventually to 5-gallon pressure pots.  But the most important thing that happened during commissioning was training.  

    InfoSight stresses that a clean system is a reliable system.  In industrial applications, this often falls on deaf ears.  The Riverdale marker encountered a few problems early on with ink drying and clogging so InfoSight Field Service Engineers made an extra trip to provide training to additional employees.  These lessons were taken very seriously, and Riverdale employees implemented a disciplined maintenance program.  Their tenacity has resulted in a marker that has been very reliable for many years.  

    The foundation of the maintenance program is cleanliness.  At least once per shift, more if needed, operators clean the ink nozzles and entire marker.  They clean off any excess paint on the nozzles and around the marking head.  They scrape off any hardened paint and remove any buildup from the marker.  By cleaning frequently, the marker stays free of buildup that would have a negative impact on the mark quality.  It also ensures the marker is inspected regularly, so the overall condition of the marker is never a surprise.  The operators also regularly apply lubrication to the tracks in which the marker moves, resulting in a maker that freely moves on the X and Y axes as necessary to create a quality mark.  Additionally, a well-trained staff of mechanics and electricians provide the more advanced maintenance that the system may require.  

    InfoSight has been surprisingly uninvolved since addressing the initial issues during commissioning.  However, Riverdale Electrical Manager Terry Murphy indicated there remains a strong working relationship with InfoSight.  One key to their maintenance program is the reliable supply of spare parts for the marker.  Riverdale recently tapped InfoSight for a project to upgrade the electronics of the system.  The 2021 project will replace the aging electronics in the system with modern technology that will allow this X-Y Marker to operate for decades to come.  


  • I-Dent® Spray Marking System

    I-Dent® Spray Marking System

    The I-Dent® Spray Marking System from InfoSight Corporation offers a practical and cost effective alternative to manually stenciling products in an industrial environment.

    The I-Dent® Marking System utilizes a non-contact multi-nozzle Printhead which is capable of producing a full range of upper case alphanumeric characters 3/4 to 6 inches high.

  • InfoSight Excited for AISTech 2021

    InfoSight is excited to be back in action at AISTech2021, June 29-July 1, 2021 in Nashville, TN.  We have a variety of expertise to share with current and potential customers.  Below is a preview of who you’ll meet and what you’ll see when you visit InfoSight at Booth 1602.  

    Our metal tags and laser printers are must haves for steel producers who need to identify and track their steel from the moment it’s formed until its end use.  We will have two LabeLase® printers on hand to demonstrate how easy it is to design and print tags.  The LL1000 is the most popular model, with decades of proven performance.  The LL3000 is about three times faster than the LL1000 and is designed for increased production and more data on bigger tags.  Joe Morelli, Jeff Good, and Brian Schlatterbeck will be on hand to answer any questions you have about our tags and printers.  

    Our custom engineering and automation group is excited to demonstrate how we can integrate our marking technologies with robotic automation to reduce the footprint and decrease cycle times for our marking systems.  Identification marking technologies include InfoDent® 8400 Stamper, I-Dent® Stencil Marker, Direct Laser Marking, and Tagging with one of InfoSight’s durable metal tags.   We will also be demonstrating the InfoDent®8400.  This stamp marking system is perfect for any surface condition, at any temperature, and creates permanent, easy to read marks in seconds. Our engineers can also tackle applications from custom stands to fully automated systems.  Mike Lanning, Daren Givens, Jon Ekvall, and Ron Workman will be at the booth to discuss our custom engineering and automation capabilities.  

    InfoSight has been providing identification and traceability solutions to the steel industry since the early 1990’s. We have a solutions oriented culture at InfoSight.  If you have an application where identification is problematic, if you need a process automated, if you are looking for innovative solutions to help you increase productivity – InfoSight can help.  


    Visit InfoSight.comnow.  


  • LabeLase® 28XX Laser Printer

    LabeLase® 28xx InfoTag® Laser Printer

    Non-contact, Metal Barcode Printing System

    The LL28XX marker uses a moving, focused CO2 laser beam to darken the specially coated white surface of metal tags, producing high definition black characters, barcodes, graphics, and logos. 

  • LabeLase® 40XX Tag Printer

    Roughly ten-times faster than our industry leading LL1000, the LL4000 sets a new standard for productivity.  Its speed makes it especially valuable when production lines increase speeds, or when you need more data on your tags.

  • Robotic Automation

    Robotic Inside Diameter Laser Marking System

    InfoSight designs & builds customized automated marking machines that can be integrated with robots to:

    • Provide faster cycle times with a smaller footprint in the customer’s plant.  
    • Operate at temperatures from ambient to approximately 2000oF (1090oC).
    • Utilize InfoSight marking software, PLC control software, and the Robot software to create a marking system that integrates seamlessly into the customer’s process.  
    • Marking technologies available include InfoDent® 8400 Stamping Systems, LabeLase® Direct Laser Marking, Automated Taggers, and Spray Marking Systems. 

     Check out this demo video from 2021 AISTech.  

  • Robotic Automation From InfoSight

    When I think of robots, my first thought is always something like “Rosie” from the Jetsons.  Even now, working at InfoSight and having been around the common robotic arm used to move and use various tools to perform repeatable tasks, Rosie still pops into my head.  Just for fun, I looked her up and found this 2019 article from Emerging Ed Tech about all the cool stuff from the Jetsons that are common to us now. You can read that here

    The reality is that common industrial robots look nothing like Rosie but are still used to do jobs that are easily repeatable or dangerous for humans.  Using automated systems to identify metal products is more efficient, more accurate, and safer - this is InfoSight’s specialty.  Many of our marking technologies are designed for very hot products (over 1000oF/540oC).  They create different messages on each piece, including unique serial numbers and barcodes, in seconds.  Information is downloaded directly from the customer’s system, eliminating the chance of human error.  This can all be accomplished with traditional or robotic automation.  

    InfoSight began using robots several years ago. One of the earliest applications of a robot in an InfoSight system was for a bar and pipe spray marking system.  This customer required up to 16 different colors sprayed in specific variable patterns on the ends of pipes and bars. A second robot was added for end painting, colorband painting, and positioning a camera for remote visual inspection of pipes. The available space in the customer’s plant was very small, making the robot the perfect solution.  It included interchangeable End of Arm Tools (EOAT), of which most were spray nozzles to accommodate all of the colors.  One of the tools was the camera and a laser sensor for detecting the position of the product.  

    The small available footprint and quick cycle time is a common driving factor for using robotic automation.  In another application, InfoSight needed to mark the inside diameter of the tailing end of one pipe and the leading end of the next.  InfoSight utilized our direct laser marking technology which includes a special white patch that is darkened with a laser to create the message.  The EOAT included all of the marking components in a tube that rotated 180o to mark then leading end of one pipe, turn around, and mark the tailing end of the previous. Watch the Robotic Inside Diameter Laser Marking System here.     

    In another recent application, InfoSight incorporated an InfoDent® 8400 stamping head on a robot for a hot plate marking system.  The robot remains behind a heat shield until the plate is in marking position.  The robot uses a laser sensor to detect the trailing edge of the plate and then moves the stamper out to the plate and marks in multiple locations on the 2000oF (1100oC) plate.  Watch the Robotic Plater Marking System here.   

    While InfoSight is not sending Rosie to clean your house, we can integrate any of our marking technologies onto a robot, providing customers with custom automated marking systems with small footprints and quick cycle times.  Contact us today to learn how we can help you.