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Laser Marking of ECC 200 2-d Matrix Requirements o-n Printed Circuit Boards

Manufacturers of electronics, from your home audio equipment to automotive keyless entry devices, are increasingly seeking a reliable, economical way of uniquely identifying and tracking items through the manufacturing cycle, revenue distribution and after-sale warranty affirmation. An autonomous, automatic tracking system requires that the permanent, machine-readable code be reproduced to an interior printed circuit board to uniquely identify each product. The rule must store data in the tiny space available on real-estate aware printed circuit boards, mustn’t affect circuit performance, and must be sturdy enough to survive manufacturing operations including wave solder and table washing.

The 2D Matrix signal supplies a way to store alpha-numeric character strings in very small areas of the printed circuit board. Laser observing technology offers a way for permanently using 2D matrix codes to the majority of board substrates. The high-resolution and high-accuracy of beam-steered laser marking systems provides the means to develop well-defined, high stability rules no matter code size. Laser marking also supplies the individual having a computer-controlled marking process for easy implementation into computerized product tracking systems.

ECC 200 2D Matrix Codes

Two-dimensional symbologies encode information in the form of a checkerboard pattern of on/off cells. Particular features of Data Matrix requirements over old-fashioned 1D barcodes include:

Encode data electronically, as opposed to the encoding of knowledge in conventional barcodes.

Can provide low-contrast printing directly on areas without requiring a name

Provide very high information density – the best among other typical 2-d rules, which means that it is possible to place a lot of information in a very small area.

They’re scaleable, meaning you can print them and study them in several levels of magnification – only tied to the resolution of the printing and imaging techniques.

Due to the high data density natural to Data Matrix rules, they also offer integral error-correction techniques which allow fully recovering the message encoded in a Data Matrix symbol even when the tag is broken and missing around 2009-10 of the symbol.

They are read by camcorders in place of a scanned laserlight used for reading traditional barcodes, meaning that they can be read in any direction.

ECC 200 Data Matrix is the most popular 2-D symbology with extensive use within automotive, aerospace, electronics, semiconductor, medical products and other manufacturing unit-level traceability applications. Where traditional barcodes were too big data Matrix rules are typically not replacing traditional linear barcodes, but are used, didn’t provide adequate storage capacity, or were unreadable.

Knowledge Matrix Code Framework

The 2-d matrix codes appear as a ‘checkerboard’ with the individual squares (cells) in either on on (white) or off (black) state. The code consists of four distinct components.

The Finder ‘D’ Pat-tern consists of a good line of cells along the left edge and bottom of the code that orients the reader to the layout of the 2D code.

The Clock Track is a series of on/off cells along the right side and top of the rule that designates the row/column count to the audience.

The Data Region is the pattern of black and white cells within the M pattern and the clock songs that contain the content of the signal.

The Quiet Zone around the rule must be free from any features that could be obvious to the audience. The quiet area should be at least two rows/columns wide for limitations constructed of square cells. The quiet zone must be a minimum of four rows/columns wide for rules constructed of round cells (dots).

ECC 200 Data Matrix limitations can keep around 3,116 numeric, 2,335 alpha-numeric characters or 1,555 bytes of binary information in a 144 column by 144 row selection. More practical mark sizes for printed circuit boards can still contain a significant level of information.

Laser Observing Program

The laser marking system consists of the beam-shaping optics, the laser source, and the system.

The laser is just a light amplifier generating a brilliant, collimated beam of light in a certain wavelength. For solder and FR4 mask programs, most people choose the air-cooled CO2 laser operating in the 10,640nm far-infrared wavelength. This laser provides excellent observing results, and offers a few performance and cost advantages.

The laser is projected through two beam-deflecting mirrors mounted to high-speed, high-accuracy galvanometers. As the mirrors are turned under direction of the system computer, the laserlight scans across the target marking surface to ‘attract’ the specified marking picture.

It is focused towards the smallest place possible by flat-field focusing optics, following the laser is deflected from the mirrors. Get new info on the affiliated encyclopedia by clicking This Is The Article For Anybody Who Wants To Understand About Solar Power | Intelli. The flat-field focusing assembly is a multi-element optical device made to maintain the focal plane of the focused laser on a relatively flat plane through the entire observing field. The focused laser light related marking power and significantly advances the power density.

The purpose of the laser optical train would be to focus the laser beam to a little area and to check the laser beam within the target area with high speed and accuracy. With-the CO2 laser setup, the focused spot size and associated marking line width is approximately 0.0035′ to 0.004.’ Man-readable text characters can be as small as 0.040′ and 2D matrix rules can be constructed from specific features as small as one 0.004′ dot.

PCB Noticing

The heat produced by the laser thermally alters the outer lining of the table to create a different, readable mark, to mark printed circuit boards. The method does not need labels, stencils, punches or some other reliable hard-ware or consumable.

For printed circuit board applications, many different versions of this process can be utilized for background conditions and different board/coating materials.

Solder mask or other Conformal Coatings on Boards –

The laser can modify the surface of the coating, giving it a lighter contrasting appearance, or can com-pletely remove the coating to expose the underlying substrate or copper ground plane.

Uncoated FR4 –

The laser changes the consistency of the surface of the FR4 making a near white appearance.

Silk-screened Printer Block –

For customers who already silkscreen element recognition or other fixed home elevators the boards, a silk-screened white printer stop can function as a background to the 2D matrix code to-optimize readability. This system is specially helpful when

o The back ground color of the board is comparable to the color of the laser mark.

E Underlying circuitry would obscure the picture to code readers.

E The board material isn’t suitable for laser marking, including ceramic substrates.

2D Matrix Signal Affirmation

Proof of the content and legibility of the 2D matrix limitations is an essential part of the general quality system. After marking of every world, the reader verifies the integrity of the mark before indexing the laser marking visit another marking spot. The reader retrieves the alpha-numeric text string from your 2D code and compares it with the text string that has been to be marked.

The audience also evaluates the legibility of the rule based o-n various parameters including foreground/background comparison, mathematical accuracy (skew, squareness, etc.) and the dimensional accuracy of both marked and unmarked cells. The 2D matrix codes are then categorized as passed (green), informed (yellow) or unsuccessful (red). For overall manufacturing efficiency, the laser system can be programmed to examine only a select few 2-d rules on a cell, then to quickly switch to verifying every code if the code legibility drops below a specific level.

Today’s viewers do an excellent job reading lower comparison 2-d codes. The proof audience may be configured to evaluate the limitations based on the performance of the older downstream readers to assure consistent performance through the assembly process, if the laser marking system is mounted on an assembly line with older 2D matrix readers downstream from the laser sign.

Marking Performance

The normal printed circuit board marker is a fully-automated, SMEMA-compliant, through-conveyor laser marking system. The total output of the laser gun is comprised of several ways which make up the marking period. The measures needed to mark one multi-array section are

1. Transportation and positioning of the panel within the marking area. In case you need to discover new resources about drainberry7 :: COLOURlovers, there are tons of on-line databases people might consider investigating.

2. Fiducial area recognition (optional)

3. Marking of the initial enterprise within the variety

4. Confirmation of the marked 2-d matrix code (optional)

5. Action of the laser marking visit the next world inside the range.

6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the rest of the circuits inside the selection.

7. Transfer of the panel out of the laser marking system (synonymous with getting the following panel in)

Cost of Operation

Cost of operation is a lot less than $1.00 per hour. Standard utilities needs are 110VAC, 1-phase, 12A. A compressed air supply is needed for your pneumatics. Full tools expenses at maximum laser power (the laser must actually work at less then 80-year rated power) are $0.12 each hour. The primary consumable object is the CO2 laser tube that must definitely be changed every 3 to 5 years at a cost of typically $1,000.00 to $1,500.00. Assuming a 40-hour workweek and tube life of three years, the tube replacement cost would equal $0.18 per hour for a complete operating cost of $0.30 per hour under worst-case conditions. Actual operating costs will be lower because of less-than maximum electrical consumption and longer tube life.

For typical pcb laser marking programs, the price for marking is less-than $0.0003 per signal.


The electronics industry has been searching for an expense and technically effective means of using machine-readable rules to printed circuit boards since the 1980’s. Early attempts included laser marking linear barcodes on the table side, a difficult challenge for audience positioning, and marking linear barcodes close to world records, also a challenge for bar-code readers. Barcode information was limited to some characters because of limited space and the barcodes character-per-inch volume. To get a different perspective, we know you check out: pcba.

The development of the 2-d matrix signal combined with the permanence, solution and rate of beam-steered laser marking technology now provides manufacturers a versatile, cost-effective, reliable and proven way to uniquely identify every product through distribution, generation and after-sale..

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Laser Marking of ECC 200 2-d Matrix Requirements o-n Printed Circuit Boards


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