DPM stands for Direct Part Marking. It is an industry term used to describe permanent marks which are made directly onto the surface of a component or product. All of Pryor's marking products can be used to perform DPM, depending on the material being marked.
The alternative to DPM is to apply a mark to a label or sticker which is then attached to the component.
Dot Peen marking is also known as dot marking, stylus pin marking and micro percussion marking. This method uses a stylus that rapidly actuates to indent a series of dots on to the surface of a material. The stylus moves along the surface, resulting in a succession of dots that create digits, text, logos and 2D Data Matrix codes.
Pryor's standard machines use an electrically driven solenoid to actuate the stylus, but pneumatic actuation is also available for deep marking or fast marking.
Dot peen marking provides fast, accurate, low-stress marking and can mark through coatings or film on the material surface.
JES 131 stands for Joint Engineering Specification 131. It is a Rolls-Royce Europe engineering specification that defines and specifies accepted marking methods and requirements for item identification.
RRES 90003 stands for Rolls-Royce Engineering Specification. It is a global part marking specification reflecting international standards to support quality requirements for permanent part identification in line with Spec 2000.
Both of these specifications control marking methods used, specify parameters for marking permanent part identification and prevent the use of unsuitable markings in line with machine-readable 1D and 2D codes.
In 1936 the ATA (Air Transport Association) was formed to represent the aerospace industry. The ATA Spec 2000 is an international standard that was subsequently developed to improve communication and information flow between members of the interconnected global supply chain network.
This standard is a comprehensive specification that introduced the requirement to identify each part with a unique serial number that enables any part anywhere in the world to be identified as individual and distinct from any other part, however similar that other part may be. The identification method specified is a permanently marked barcode or 2D data matrix code that should remain on the part throughout its entire life.
The standard implements a method to store information that can be read in an automated manner – Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC), improving the reliability and accuracy of information shared. Pryor's software and vision systems fully support the reading and management of barcoded data.
Spec 2000 specifies full lifecycle tracking and traceability of serialised parts, allowing for the use of automated processes in parts handling. The code simply points to a database or tracked information that is used for many daily processes, including:
- processing warranty claims
- tracking part installation and removal time
- tracking maintenance and repair history
UDI is a directive from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Commission. It has introduced legislation regarding the Unique Device Identification (UDI) of medical devices and instruments.
From September 2016, all medical class III devices and instruments that require direct part marking (DPM) must also carry a UDI. Class II and Class I devices will require UDI from September 2018 and September 2020 respectively.
This system will allow greater accuracy in reporting and traceability as well as reducing medical errors by allowing health care workers to quickly identify instruments.
Pyror has a guide to the topic here: UDI marking
Unlike a 1D barcode that stores data in a line of black and white bars, a 2D barcode stores a lot more data in a grid of black and white squares that can be arranged in either a square or a rectangular pattern. They look a bit like very small crossword puzzles and are often found on packaging, posters and on manufacturing parts. Data is stored both horizontally and vertically, resulting in significantly greater storage capacity than a 1D barcode. 2D barcodes are machine readable and can pass on text or numeric data in the blink of an electronic eye.
A Data Matrix code is the name given to a particular type of 2D barcode as defined by the ISO/IEC 16022 international standard. Each Data Matrix has 2 solid adjacent borders that form an ‘L’ shape. This ‘L’ is called a “finder pattern” and ensures that the code can be read regardless of its orientation.
Data Matrix codes are formed by a series of equally sized squares and so are ideal for marking with dot-peen machines.
Each Data Matrix can store up to 3116 numbers or 2335 alphanumeric characters from the full ASCII range, and this data can even be encrypted for security purposes.
Another key advantage of a Data Matrix is error proofing. Codes can be designed to ensure that even when partially damaged or obscured a majority of data can be recovered from them.
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is another type of 2D barcode, first developed in the Japanese automotive industry, but has since become widely used in advertising applications. The amount of data that can be stored in a QR code depends on the data type and the error correction level. There are four correction levels, the higher the level, the less storage capacity. A QR code is recognisable by three distinctive squares at the corners.
Pryor supplies a range of products for marking, reading and managing 2D barcodes. Data Matrix codes are believed to be the more secure (less hackable) codes and are favoured where high security is deemed important. Pryor’s dot-peen, laser, chemical etching and inkjet machines are all suitable for Data Matrix marking applications. Laser, Inkjet and chemical etching are suitable for marking QR codes.
The IAQG (International Aerospace Quality Group) is an International Not-for-Profit Association (INPA) that implements initiatives and standards to improve quality and reduce costs throughout the aerospace value chain.
The IAQG have implemented standards regarding the direct part marking of aerospace components, such as the type of styli to be used in dot-peen marking machines.