A leading UK manufacturer of munitions contacted ATD to discuss the feasibility of individually marking shell cases with a data matrix bar code and human readable information. ATD suggested that Industrial Laser Marking or coding with a Continuous Inkjet printer would be the best options  to evaluate.

Durable Industrial Laser Marking of Data Matrix Codes

A number of shells were marked and presented to the customer for testing. Each Data-Matrix code was scanned and verified as OK. Each shell was then made live, fired from a pistol and the shells collected for re-scanning.

The results showed the Industrial Laser mark was durable enough to withstand the firing process and 100% of the Data Matrix codes scanned OK.

By comparison the coding on the inkjet printed shells degraded during the firing process. Initially completely readable a combination of heat and mechanical abrasion removed some of the ink or discoloured the metal surface. This reduced the post-firing read rate to only 50%. This was unacceptable and Industrial Laser Marking proved itself to be the best solution.

Ink Jet Bullet_UnfiredInkjet  Bullet Fired_CB

A Fibre-laser was used to produce the mark. The intense localised and focused energy from the laser removes a small amount of metal from the surface, leaving an indelible and robust mark.

Fibre Lasers can mark metals and a wide range of plastic substrates.

They are an attractive alternative to other technologies (dot pinning, scribing, etching and micro-percussion) because they are programmable, fast, clean, reliable and have a low running cost.

ATD – Experts in Industrial Coding and Marking Technologies

When asked why they contacted ATD  the customer mentioned they were impressed with ATD’s web site, which clearly showed the companies expertise in a wide range of industrial coding and marking technologies.

Click for more information on ATD’s range of Industrial Laser Marking and Coding solutions, including Fibre, CO2 and YAG Lasers.