Barcode Marking Techniques You Can Use
There are many marking methods ideal for marking barcodes. However, each depends on several factors. Below are the barcode marking processes you can employ domestically and industrially.
Chemical Etching Method
Chemical etching is a common barcode marking process involving the use of a chemical etchant (liquid or vapor). The etchant removes the material isotropically or through anisotropic etching, thereby leading to barcode marking. Chemical etching is a common qr code marking and data matrix code marking process. It involves four steps explained below:
This is the preparation of the metal surface for chemical etching by removing various contaminants.
This involves covering the place you do not want to be etched with a photoresist.
Exposure involves placing the material in the middle of two “masks.” These masks contain the negative image of the barcode that you want to create. They let ultraviolet light pass through them, which crosslinks the film in places where the light was not blocked.
In this step, the chemical is used to dissolve the films that were not crosslinked. The material that is protected by the film is the finished product. The metal is then placed in the etch chambers, where the etchant is sprinkled from top to bottom.
Dot Peen Marking
Dot peen marking involves using a dot peen machine to stamps a series of close dots to form the required barcode design on a material. The Dot peen machine makes accurate marks with little force.
There are many machines suitable for dot peen barcode marking. However, when choosing one, you must always look for ease of operation. Examples of reliable dot peen markers you can work with are the Electrical Dot peen marking system and the Hand held dot peen marker. Both machines are suitable for industrial use, and they have an easy mode of operation
Dot peen marking is a cost-effective barcode marking process. However, materials subjected to the process are exposed to mechanical stress (although not to thermal and chemical stress). Therefore, you should note the material suitable for the process before embarking on the process. Examples of compatible materials include metals, alloy (stainless steel), etc.
Laser Barcode Marking Process
Lasers are great at creating marks on different kinds of materials, from stainless steel to bronze. Barcode marking via a laser marking machine involves focusing a beam of light on the material/product. However, the different mechanism of action depends on the different types of lasers marking processes available. Below are the three most common laser techniques ideal for barcode marking:
Laser annealing is a non-degradative laser marking process that involves using a laser marking machine to heat and changes the color of the material, e.g., stainless steel. It is a permanent marking process that oxidizes the material’s surface and creates a readable mark (barcode). The color impacted on the material by the process depends on the material and the laser beam temperature. However, standard colors include yellow, red, and green.
Laser annealing is ideal and widely applicable in qr code marking, and data mark code marking, especially when the product requires a smooth surface after marking.
- Laser Etching and Laser Engraving
（laser etching and laser engraving）
Laser etching and Laser engraving are unlike laser annealing as they are degradative, and the marked part/product surface is not smooth.
Laser engraving involves using a laser engraver to remove materials from the component’s surface. It is ideal for qr code marking; therefore, laser engraved qr codes are a common sight industrially. In qr code marking, a qr code engraving machine removes a part of the material to form the codes.
Laser etching is also like laser engraving. However, unlike laser engraving, it leads to a raised mark on the surface of the product/part. In terms of QR codes, a laser etched QR code is also like a laser-engraved QR code. However, it has a raised surface.
Laser engraved and laser etched barcode markings are permanent. However, care must be taken based on the materials to be used for. For example, laser etching and laser engraving are not popular with marking stainless steel when anti-rust and anti-corrosive properties are needed.
The laser marking process is the most common barcode marking process used industrially due to the permanent marking. However, it can be very costly and is material-dependent. For the best laser barcode marking, you can use the Fl10 fiber laser making or the Fl20 fiber making machine. The machine named above is an effective qr code laser engraving machine. Therefore, they are perfect for making a laser engraved qr code.
Inkjet printing is the method used in encoding a component by applying color pigments using an inkjet printer such as the handheld inkjet printer. It has a wide variety of material compatibility, although it is not compatible with Teflon and silicon-containing materials due to ineffective adhesion.
While it is ideal for barcode marking, it can be costly since there is a type of ink for each material.
The mechanism of action involves the print head firing ink present in a solvent to the material surface. The ink is in a solvent, and on drying up, it forms a small matrix on the part.
There are two types of inkjet printing methods: Drop-on-demand and Continuous method.
The continuous inkjet is ideal for data matrix code marking. It involves pressing single droplets of inks through a jet to charge them. Consequently, the droplets of ink deflect to the required position because of two electrically charged deflection plates. In addition, continuous inkjet printing is one-dimensional. Therefore, the print head or the part will need to move.