Data Matrix & 2D Barcode FAQ's
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-peenÃ‚Â machines.
Each Data Matrix can store up to 3116 numbers orÃ‚Â 2335 alphanumericÃ‚Â 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 aÃ‚Â range of productsÃ‚Â for marking, readingÃ‚Â and managing 2D barcodes.Ã‚Â Data Matrix codes are believed to be the more secure and areÃ‚Â favoured where high security is deemed important.Ã‚Â Pryor's dot-peen, laser, chemical etchingÃ‚Â and inkjetÃ‚Â machines are all suitable for Data Matrix marking applications. Laser, InkjetÃ‚Â and chemical etchingÃ‚Â are suitable for marking QR codes as well.
This maximum size is a 144 square matrix of dots. In its rectangular format the maximum data is 71 characters.
The smallest Data Matrix codes are a 10x10 matrix, which can store just 6 numbers.
A Data Matrix code is particularly useful when used as a unique identifier that refers to a remote database. This allows you to retrieve unlimited amounts of data from a database stored in your main IT system. Using a Data Matrix code in this way allowsÃ‚Â you to limit access to certain data, which enables you to keep complete manufacturing data in one place.
Pryor supplies a range of Data Matrix marking machines, readers and verifiers, and data management software.
As a guideline, there have been applications in which the Data Matrix has been laser etchedÃ‚Â smaller than 0.2sqmm.
The key consideration is usually the ability to read the code. Advanced optics and lighting can be used to maximise resolution. The most powerful readers which Pryor supplies can decode 1sqmm codes.