Sonar Buoy Marking System
Project description

The manufacturing of this sonar buoy marking system was a design challenge. Because of limited floor space at the OEM’s facility, the system needed a vertical design and had to allow the parts to spin to apply the markings.

Fabricated from aluminum frames and panels, the machine was designed to mark the buoys for identification along the circumference at 5″ and 6″ diameters. Measuring 10′ x 32″ x 32″, this marking system would handle parts to 40″. This unit featured 2-axis Allen Bradley PLC controls. It was necessary that the black and white solvent-based inks used in this application be alcohol and abrasion resistant. The system was anodized with a powder coated finished to prevent corrosion from occurring, it was also tested against UV light and saltwater. The 2,000 lb machine was delivered to the client’s facility in Florida where we performed the installation and startup.

Automation-Plus is a leader in designing and fabricating marking systems for industrial applications. If you would like more information about this sonar buoy marking system, please feel free to contact us.

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Highlights of this Sonar Buoy Marking System Project


Create a machine to mark a Sonar Buoy for identification using both black and white ink. Ink had to be alcohol and abrasion resistant.

The machine had to be able to mark the buoys along the circumference of 2 different diameters (5" and 6") with two different inks. The available floor space was limited so the machine had to be design vertically and parts had to be spin to apply the markings.

Capabilities Applied/ProcessesFabrication
Material TypeAluminum
Material FormFrame, Panels
Controls2-axis, Allen Bradley PLC
InkSolvent Based Pigment
Part Diameter5 and 6 in
Part Length40 in
Product Depth32 in
Product Width32 in
Product Height10 ft
Tightest Tolerance±.010 in, ±1°
Ink ColorBlack and White
Material FinishPowder Coated, Anodized
ResistancesAlcohol, Abrasion
Secondary OperationsOn-Site Installation and Startup
Packaging2,000 lb
Industry for UseDefense
Volume2 per year
Lead Time16 weeks
Delivery LocationFlorida
Tests PerformedUV Light, Saltwater