Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms


Alphanumeric refers to alphabetic and numeric characters; the 26 alphabetic characters, A to Z, and the 10 Arabic numerals, 0 to 9.


Having a perpendicular corner cut off at an angle to give a less sharp edge.


Object for securing a work piece on a machine tool.


An optical collimator is used to create a parallel output light beam of specific diameter from a diverging input beam. A collimator will normally be attached to the end of the delivery fibre of a marking laser, as it enters the scan-head.


The distance between the surface upon which you load your part (the base) and the marking head on a machine, or the collet on a press.


The use of male and female dies to create a sunken, readable mark on thin sheet material.


A diode is an electronic semiconductor device with two transmitting terminals; a cathode and an anode. This restricts the flow of current to one direction only.

Dot Peen

Dot Peen marking is also known as dot marking, stylus pin marking and micro percussion marking.  Dot peening is the action of striking something with a point (e.g. a stylus) to create a dot-shaped indent on the surface of the material.

For a dot peen mark to be created, a series of indented dots align to create readable data.

Dot peen marking is low-stress marking and can mark through coatings or film on the material surface.

Dot stress

Dot Stress products create an impression of a character formed from dots, rather than a continuous line. This reduces stress levels in the component.

The Dot Stress impression gives an even lower stress level than a Mini Stress impression. In both cases the impressions are made with a rounded edge rather than a sharp edge. This helps to avoid premature cracking, by eliminating the stress concentration at the bottom of the indentation.

Images of the character can be seen here.


The use of male and female dies to create a raised, readable mark on thin sheet material.

Fount Set

A complete set of Pryor Interchangeable Steel Type characters, with a hand holder.


Hewlett-Packard Graphics Language is a printer control language. Pryor's Production Software can import designs in this format for marking with any of Pryor's marking machines.


Manufacturing Execution System. Computerised system to track and document the flow of raw materials through manufacturing processes to finished products.

Mini Stress

Mini Stress impressions have less sharp edges to the character in order to achieve lower stress marking. The characters have a rounded edge at their tip. A low stress impression helps avoid premature cracking, by eliminating the stress concentration at the bottom of the indentation.

Images of the character can be seen here.

Reverse Impression

Reverse impression characters appear as you would read a normal character i.e. ‘the right way round’ on the marking product. Therefore, when they mark, they produce an impression that is a mirror image.

This is used when creating a mould, template that will re-invert the mark or marking on the back of a material and viewing the mark on the opposite side.


A method of marking whereby a stylus is dragged through the surface of the material to create a continuous line engraved mark.

Sharp Faced

Sharp faced impressions create a V shaped indent in the material being marked and are suitable for all non-stress critical materials. Due to the shape of the indent, sharp faced impressions are capable of creating a deeper mark with less force. The resulting impression is a sharp, crisp character.


A Tell-Tale is a device that provides a visual indication of the position of something. The Tell-tale characters on Pryor’s Number Marking Heads indicate the characters in the marking position on the wheel.


Tempering is a process that improves the hardness and elasticity of a metal by reheating and then cooling it. Tempering is performed after hardening to reduce excess hardness or brittleness.


Cylindrical components that have a hole cut centrally along their axis have a bore. Marking through-bore refers to making a mark on the surface inside the central hole, on the inside diameter.

Pryor provides through-bore marking with its range of circumferential marking axes.


A turnkey or turn-key project is one in which the complete solution is undertaken by the provider.

The entire responsibility, from design through to manufacture, completion, installation and commissioning is undertaken by the supplier and supplied to the customer as a completed project that is ready for immediate use.

The customer simply needs to "turn the key" to get up and running.

Pryor can provide all its production integration marking equipment as turnkey solutions.


Dot peen marked dots are applied close together so as to overlap and create a continuous line. Varidot is set as a font within Pryor's Production Software.


The Vehicle Identification Number is the unique chassis identification number placed on all vehicles globally. The VIN is a 17 digit alphanumeric code with an * placed before and after the code. Most automotive manufacturers specify a minimum depth for the main chassis VIN mark.

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