Rocklin Manufacturing Blog

Posted by Ross Rocklin in Rocklin Mfg on 3/2/2023

Catalytic converters have become a prime target for theft in recent years, mainly due to the valuable metals contained inside, such as platinum, rhodium, and palladium. The problem has become so severe that law enforcement and other government authorities are stepping up measures to prevent it. One such measure is the use of dot peen marking, which offers several benefits in preventing catalytic converter theft.

Catalytic Converter Theft Statistics

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), catalytic converter thefts rose by 300% in 2020 compared to the previous year, with California, Texas, and Minnesota being the top three states for thefts. The NICB also reports that the thefts are often carried out by organized crime groups who target fleets of vehicles, particularly those of commercial vehicles.

Recent Laws Requiring Catalytic Converter Marking

To combat catalytic converter theft, several states have enacted laws that require catalytic converters to be marked, engraved, or etched. In California, for example, the state's Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) has implemented a regulation that requires all catalytic converters to be marked with a unique identification number. The regulation requires authorized installers to engrave the ID number on the converter's shell using dot peen marking or another permanent marking method.

Benefits of Dot Peen Marking

Dot peen marking is a permanent marking method that uses a small, carbide-tipped stylus to create dots on the surface of the material. The dots are closely spaced together to form a pattern that can be used to identify the marked item. In the case of catalytic converters, the dots can be used to identify the converter's owner, manufacturer, and other relevant information.

Dot peen marking offers several benefits for catalytic converter marking, including:

  1. Durable: Dot peen marking creates a permanent mark that is resistant to wear, corrosion, and other forms of damage.
  2. Easy to Read: The dot pattern created by dot peen marking is easy to read, even after years of use.
  3. Versatile: Dot peen marking can be used on a variety of materials, including metals and plastics.
  4. Traceability: The unique ID number created by dot peen marking allows law enforcement and other authorities to trace the origin of a stolen converter.

Use of Dot Peen Marking by Auto Dealers, Law Enforcement, and Other Government Authorities

Auto dealers, law enforcement agencies, and other government authorities are increasingly using dot peen marking to prevent catalytic converter theft. Auto dealers can mark the converters on their new vehicles to make them less attractive to thieves. Law enforcement agencies can use dot peen marking to trace stolen converters back to their owners or manufacturers. Other government authorities can require catalytic converters to be marked as part of their regulations to prevent theft.

Pulling It All Together

Catalytic converter theft is a growing problem that can cost vehicle owners thousands of dollars in repairs and replacements. Dot peen marking is a valuable tool for preventing catalytic converter theft, offering durable, easy-to-read, and traceable marks that can deter thieves and help authorities identify stolen converters. With the implementation of recent laws requiring catalytic converter marking, dot peen marking is becoming more widespread, and this will only increase in the coming years.

The FlyMarker® mini dot peen marker is the ideal tool for this purpose. With full battery-operated portability, you can mark just about anywhere and from any angle, fast. Simple enter the vehicle's VIN number or other identifying feature, adjust the font height and force to your desired settings, and complete the mark in mere seconds. We’ve partnered with auto dealers, law enforcement authorities, and associations from Alaska to Maine, California to New York, and beyond so they can use the FlyMarker® mini to prevent catalytic converter theft.

See how it works in this 90-second video and then get in touch for your free sample or demo to try it out for yourself.


Tags: catalytic converters , marking , engraving , etching , auto dealers , associations , law enforcement , catalytic converter theft , theft , valuable metals , platinum , rhodium , palladium , dot peen marking , national insurance crime bureau , nicb , battery-operated marking , vin , flymarker , flymarker mini , videos

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