Data Matrix Code Laser Marking
For production lines in manufacturing industries, the data matrix code is the best choice for traceability requirements. This is because of the code’s density of information, marking speed, and resistance. Such production lines are usually found in the automotive industry, the primary metal industry, and the aerospace industry. They are also found in industrial and commercial machine applications.Ask an expert
Long marking times must not result in a production bottleneck
This is why you need to mark 2D codes quickly. Data matrix codes can encode more characters than QR codes within the same space since they use less space for pattern recognition. This means that you can have smaller codes and mark them faster.
Production lines are harsh environments
To achieve complete traceability, you need codes that can be scanned no matter what. Data matrix codes are easy to scan since they can support up to 30% of damage and still be readable. They are also easier to recognize than the characters they encode due to the standardization of their pattern.
Laser Marking is the Method of Choice to Mark Data Matrix Codes
Not all technologies can be used to permanently mark data matrix codes.
As opposed to labels that fall off and ink that can be erased, lasers permanently mark the part surface.
Mark at the Start
We’ve developed a patent-pending technology that allows you to mark data matrix codes early in your production lines—before post-treatments such as shotblasting, e-coating, powder coating, and heat treating.
To get the best grades for data matrix codes, you need a high contrast that cannot be achieved with methods such as dot peening.
Laser marking creates high-quality black and white contrasts on the part surface. This ensures that scanners can read your codes.
More Advantages of Laser Marking
- You will have no additional costs since there are no consumables such as ink or paper
- The quality of the code won’t degrade over time as opposed to other methods that slowly degrade due to mechanical wear
- It won’t be the bottleneck in your production line as it’s the fastest direct part marking technology
- Laser marking requires low maintenance compared to dot peening since it doesn’t involve any contact or moving parts
The Laser Marking That Your Codes Need
To determine the type of laser marking you need, you must first provide the following information on your 2D code application:
Material Type for Laser Technology
The type of laser you need depends on the type of material you will be marking. As a general rule, metallic materials react better with fiber lasers whereas CO2 lasers are better suited for organic materials.
Cycle Time for Laser Power
Marking parts should not be a bottleneck in your production line. Higher laser power results in shorter marking times, so your available cycle time will determine the optimal laser power.
We offer laser powers from 20W up to 500W to support both higher and lower cycle times. In addition, our lower-power lasers can achieve faster marking times than the ones offered by our competitors.
Surface Geometry for Laser Focus
To mark codes, the part surface must be within the laser’s focus. The surface geometry thus determines the requirements for the focus.
- For surfaces that are relatively flat, you need 2D lasers.
- For surfaces that are curved, you need 3D lasers that can optionally be equipped with sensors to automatically adjust the laser’s focus when marking.
- For unknown surfaces, you need 3D lasers equipped with an autofocus-vision system to first scan the part by 3D imaging, then to automatically adjust the laser’s focus when marking. This applies to you if you mark different types of parts, or if you don’t know how the parts will be positioned.
Let Us Know Your Application
Let our experts know your 2D code marking application. They will evaluate your needs based on what you want to encode, the location of the code on your part, the desired size for the marking, and so on.
They can also guide you in choosing a laser marking machine and arrange tests using your parts to demonstrate the code’s post-treatment resistance (such as shotblasting, e-coating, powder coating, and heat treating).