Custom Engraving With Kaba Ilco's New Engrave-It XP

The Engrave-It XP is simple to operate and designed to engrave a broad range of items in both the lock shop and institutional environment. This unit is capable of marking keys, IC cores, brass and laminated ID plates /pet ID tags.


The use of an engraving machine provides the capability to visually identify lock cylinders, interchangeable cores and key blanks. Identifying them can be especially beneficial when originating, installing and servicing masterkey systems. Other opportunities include having your company name incised into key blanks or providing promotional services. The engraved information provides a near permanent record. Should additional information be required or needed by the end user such as door or user numbers, that data can be engraved into a variety of key tags that can be permanently attached to the keys using tamper-proof key rings.

The new Engrave-It XP is the third engraving machine available from Ilco, joining the Engrave-It and the Engrave-It Pro. The mid-level Engrave-It XP is a desktop machine that operates in conjunction with a Windows-based personal computer to engrave letters, numbers and designs into aluminum, brass, plastic, wood and other soft and hard materials. Vision software is loaded into the computer using the provided USB flash drive/dongle. The software is partially icon-driven, making it easier to follow the steps required to engrave. The software does not require Internet access to operate.

Important: The dongle must be installed into the computer in order to operate the Engrave-It XP using the Vision software.

This small footprint machine requires approximately two square feet of counter space. Like the more expensive engravers, the Engrave-It XP can operate using a “diamond drag” method of incising. For certain applications, the XP can also engrave using the rotary cutter method. Both methods provide a table resolution of 0.0002” for letters, number and graphics. This is the smallest controlled motion for the engraver.

The Engrave-It XP comes with more than 1,100 fonts and 5,000 pieces of clip art. Fonts are automatically resized to fit the surface area of the object being engraved. The software is designed to enable manual adjustment of the letters or numbers to create a desired affect.

The Engrave-It XP spindle moves side to side and up and down. The six-inch by eight-inch aluminum T-slot table moves forward and back. The combined movements create the images, letters or numbers being engraved.

The process can be for single or multiple items. Items to be engraved are placed onto either specifically designed holders or a multi-mat. Specially designed holders can be used for key blanks, cores or lock cylinders. Custom built holders are available. For more information, contact Ilco. Key blank holders can engrave up to 12 blanks having the same or different information.

Note: The software is capable of engraving sequentially numbered items.

The Engrave-It XP operates at speeds up to three inches per second using diamond drag or rotary engraving methods. The diamond drag method of engraving, also known as “scratch” engraving, is used on metals such as brass, aluminum, pewter, etc. The diamond graver tool has an imbedded conical pointed diamond that moves in a fixed position across the surface being engraved. Diamond gravers have different tip angles for the material being engraved. The softer the material, the wider the angle needed. Diamond-drag engraving is usually used to remove the color coating exposing the base metal underneath providing a brilliant finish.

The Engrave-It XP’s motorized spindle rotates when a rotary cutter is engraving. The process is similar to routing and produces cuts of specified widths and depths in a wide variety of materials. Rotary engraving uses a single or multiple fluted cutter that rotates and plunges to remove material creating the engraving. Rotary engraving can make deep cuts or completely cutout portions of the material. Rotary engraving can achieve the three-dimensional look.

To ensure the desired output will be attained, a built-in job preview (dry run) mimics the engraving process. A red laser tracking pointer system provides a visual of the graver’s movements.

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