Blog – Application of the Month

Accuracy on Even the Smallest Areas

The FOBA Y-series pulsed Ytterbium fiberlasers are capable of creating the smallest of marks with the highest precision and legibility, e.g. on SMD (surface mounted device) components for electronics applications or on tiny surgical screws for medical use. To ensure traceability and dataintegrity, markings are required on even very small items. Depending on the kind of material, e.g. metals, titanium, ceramics or plastics, minimal character heights of about 150 µm are feasible.

As shown below, marking areas on SMD components usually don’t reach micrometer sizes, for example 0.6 x 0.8 mm. The spinal spacer (see below), made of PEEK (polyether ether ketone), as well as the depicted titanium pedicle screw made for spinal fusion surgeries, are marked with a 3 x 3 mm data matrix code. DataMatrixCodes can be marked down to a size of just 0.5 mm² with a pixel height of 30 µm. Standard GS1 or HIBC codes for medicaldevices cannot not be smaller than 0.1/0.17 mm. The corresponding size of a code with 18 x 18 modules would then be 1.8 mm². The US company Matrix Medical Tracking Solutions has developed documentation technologies that can electronically scan even the smallest codes and directly data transfer these from the operating room to the hospital documentation systems.