DataMatrix, UID and Bar Codes

Aerospace Laser Marking Traceability and Identification Data Matrix Code

DataMatrix, UID and Bar Codes

Aerospace Industry - Traceability Solutions

The need for full traceability and identification services by the Aerospace industry can be met by laser marking machine readable codes and text. Aerospace devices and components are marked by different techniques based on the variety of materials and the nature of the expected code. Our traceability solutions range from the following and comply with Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), Military Aviation Authority (MAA) and the Civil Aviation Authority.

Machine-readable codes are essential where security and accurate reading of information are of high importance. Whilst the barcode is ideal for small quantities of information to be machine read off high contrast surfaces, for more demanding applications a 2-d code like a Data Matrix code is required. These codes can store up to 2000 characters and their size can be from 25 microns to over 300 mm square. Curved and uneven surfaces, highly reflective surfaces and materials that give a low contrast can be marked by laser with a Data Matrix code. These codes also have a level of redundancy that allows a successful read even when partly damaged.

More sophisticated readers than standard barcode readers are required and the lighting of the mark is critical with most readers having their own lighting. In military and medical applications, particularly on stainless steel and curved surfaces, the Data Matrix code has become the standard.

FIMARK has manufactured barcode labels and nameplates for all sectors of industry. For the defence industry we provide UID solutions which can involve direct marking of codes onto components and verification certificates. UID or Unique Identifier codes (a special form of Data Matrix code) and their validation certificates are becoming compulsory for any supplier to the US military.

The flexibility of laser marking allows serial numbers and variable information to be added to almost any surface in the form of a machine-readable code. Software converts data that can be inputted from a text file into the graphical format of a bar-code, Data Matrix or QR code. The laser parameters are selected to maximize readability and are optimized for each material. For example on steel the surface might be turned black and with aluminium the surface would be etched.

Datamatrix Code - Bar Code - Aerospace Traceability