FAQ

2D Code Readers & Verifiers:

  • Q:

    What is the difference between 2D code reading and verification?

    A:

    2D code reading is generally achieved with either a handheld or fixed mount 2D code reader. 2D readers can read a printed 2D code and decipher its contents but are generally incapable of grading the quality of the printed 2D code. A verifier, on the other hand, is a calibrated vision device capable of reading and grading the 2D code quality. Most verifiers are calibrated against a NIST or equivalent standard.

Direct Product Marketing (DPM):

  • Q:

    What is direct product marking or DPM?

    A:

    DPM is a marking process that directly applies a UID mark to a product. DPM processes include industrial ink jet printing, laser etching, dot peening and electro-chemical etching. Label affixing is not a direct product marking process.

  • Q:

    We currently use rubber stamps to mark our product information but are now required to direct product mark our parts with Mil-Std 130 UID compliant 2D codes. What process alternatives are available for compliance?

    A:

    Inkjet, laser etching, dot peening, electro-chemical etching and labeling are all process alternatives capable of meeting Mil-Std 130 requirements. The first step is to review your contractual requirements to see if a particular process has been identified by your customer.

    Assuming no specific process has been defined by your customer, the next step is to determine whether an additive or subtractive process is preferred. An additive process is one in which the UID mark is added to your part. Industrial ink jet printing and labeling are additive processes. A subtractive process is one where material is removed from the part to generate the UID mark. Examples of subtractive processes are laser etching, dot peening and electro-chemical etching.

    The closest process to rubber stamping is industrial ink jet printing. Most industrial ink jet printing systems are digital ink jet printing systems capable of printing alphanumeric text, bar codes, 2D codes, serial numbers and logos. Selecting the right ink jet printer, ink and system configuration is crucial to implementing a robust, reliable ink jet marking system alternative to rubber stamping.

Mil-Std 130

  • Q:

    Can industrial inkjet printers from such manufacturers as Domino, Videojet, Imaje, Leibinger, etc. be used for Mil-Std 130 UID compliance applications?

    A:

    Yes, some printer models available from Videojet, Domino, Imaje, Leibinger, etc. are capable of printing UID verifiable 2D codes.

  • Q:

    I have Videojet Excel HR series inkjet printers and want to print Mil-Std 130 UID compliant 2D codes. Are they capable?

    A:

    Videojet Excel High Resolution (HR) Series industrial ink jet printers require Extended Serial Interface (ESI) firmware and a printer device control interface software, such as JETEC’s IMS2701 or IMS5000 in order to print verifiable Mil-Std 130 UID compliant 2D codes.

  • Q:

    What are some of the Mil-Std 130 UID specific features available with printer device control software packages, such as JETEC’s IMS2701 or IMS5000?

    A:

    Some of JETEC’s embedded features include: selection of square or rectangular data matrix codes, user definable number of dots per cell, user selectable construct #1 versus construct #2, data identifier reference and automatic matrix determination.

  • Q:

    What is the standard warranty offered by JETEC on it Mil-Std 130 UID parts marking systems?

    A:

    Our standard warranty is one-year parts & labor. Extended warranties are available upon request.

  • Q:

    What are the requirements for a label or tag to meet MIL-STD-130 compliance?

    A:

    First, look at your customer’s purchase order or specification requirements. Secondly, go to http://www.mil-std-130.com and download the DoD Guideline & Specifications for Compliance. Need additional assistance, contact JETEC at info@jetec.com or call us at 714-979-9611.

Ink Jet Systems:

  • Q:

    What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of inkjet printing versus laser etching of UID marks?

    A:

    Inkjet Printing Advantages – Ink jet printing is an additive process. In most cases the printed ink thickness is less than 0.001” thick. Since it is an additive process, unless the ink has been cured, it can be removed in the event of operator error without damage to the part. Inkjet marking is a natural progression to rubber stamping or pad transfer printing. Inkjet marking systems range from $8.5K to over $100K, depending on system configuration. Portable inkjet printing systems are available whereby small or medium sized parts can be brought to the marking system for UID identification. When printing large parts, the ink jet print head can be brought to the part for marking. Print contrast can be achieved by printing a white or light background followed by a black or dark mark.

    Inkjet Printing Disadvantages – Ink jet printers require consumables, inks and system fluids (also referred to as Makeup or solvent). In order to achieve marking permanency with the ink selected for use a curing process (UV or thermal) may be required. Chemical waste is generated by an ink jet process during the head cleaning, printer maintenance or general part cleaning process. MEK inks may be required for Mil-Std 130 UID compliance. Not all ink jet printers are the same. Some require more maintenance than others, making printer selection more difficult. Care and process considerations must be considered in order to avoid implementing a messy process. May require multiple ink jet printers, generally a white and a black ink printer, in order to obtain the necessary print contrast on select parts. Pigmented (white or yellow ink) inkjet printers require significantly more maintenance and are not capable of achieving high resolution marks. Ink jet printers can clog if not properly maintained.

    Laser Etching Advantages – Laser etching or marking is a subtractive process; material is removed to generate the mark. Thus laser marks are permanent marks without requiring any curing process to achieve marking permanency. High resolution print quality is achievable. No potentially hazardous chemicals are required. Laser marking systems range from $25K to over $100K, depending on system configuration.

    Laser Etching Disadvantages – Improper setup can generate scrap or require remarking in newly designated areas. Set-up times for individual parts can vary. Provisions for operator safety must be incorporated into the marking process. These provisions include: incorporating Class I enclosures, installation within controlled environments, extensive operator and maintenance personnel training, and posting of laser warning signs. Laser etching systems can be costly when properly integrated. For high power laser systems water chillers may be required. Fume extractors are recommended in order to remove laser debris. Improper setup can cause potential mark penetration problems. Laser etching process requires a higher skilled operator.

  • Q:

    My customer contracts require Arial, Helvetica or other fonts that are not standard with most industrial inkjet printers. Is there software available that will allow me to print standard true type or Windows fonts using industrial inkjet printers?

    A:

    Yes, JETEC’s IMS2701 or IMS5000 printer device control software provides the capability to exceed their normal industrial ink jet printing capabilities. Depending on the specific inkjet printer connected users can print Windows fonts, True Type fonts, bar codes, logos and 2D codes with minimal hardware upgrades, if any.

  • Q:

    How can I determine if my existing industrial inkjet printer can be used for Mil-Std 130 UID compliance?

    A:

    Unfortunately, not all industrial inkjet printer manufacturers are knowledgeable of the full extent of the printing capabilities of their printers. Therefore, we recommend that you speak with both the original printer manufacturer and a recommended system integrator experienced in integrating that printer. System integrators tend to have a better firsthand knowledge of individual printer capabilities.

  • Q:

    What are some of the Mil-Std 130 UID specific features available with printer device control software packages, such as JETEC’s IMS2701 or IMS5000?

    A:

    Some of JETEC’s embedded features include: selection of square or rectangular data matrix codes, user definable number of dots per cell, user selectable construct #1 versus construct #2, data identifier reference and automatic matrix determination.

  • Q:

    What are some of the advantages in switching from pad transfer printing to industrial ink jet printing?

    A:

    Depending on your specific application there can be various cost drivers which make digital inkjet printing a preferred marking process over pad transfer printing. Some of these cost improvements include: elimination of plate making sub-process, less rework due to handling since inkjet inks generally dry-to-the-touch immediately after printing, no additional set-up or operator interaction in order to generate product serial numbers, most ink jet inks have a twelve-month shelf life as compared to a shift or hourly shelf life for mixed epoxy inks, the ink jet marking process is a non-contact marking process, individual part marking files can be stored on a PC for future retrieval and continuation of lot or batch part marking and industrial ink jet printing processes facilitate automation.

  • Q:

    Why does JETEC offer two portable inkjet marking system configurations?

    A:

    Jet Marking system configurations. One configuration offers a single linear motion assembly. Linear systems are available in belt driven or linear motor controlled. These systems are ideal for customers with single line marking data or where the total area of the data to be printed does not exceed 0.500”.

    Our latest Flex-A-JET product offering features a portable X/Y based servo controlled system configuration. This system has been designed to allow Mil-Std 130 UID customers the capability to print within a 4.0” x 2.0” marking envelope. Standard UID marking formats can be marked using this system. For more information on our Flex-A-JET systems visit our website at www.flexajet.com.

Ink Jet Fluids:

  • Q:

    Are there inkjet inks suitable for space flight hardware?

    A:

    Yes, several inkjet manufacturers and third party inkjet ink manufacturers offer space flight compliant inks. JETEC offers a black ink which has been tested by Goddard Space Flight Systems, and is currently working on a white ink approval. To obtain a copy of the test results contact sales@jetec.com.

Laser Marking Systems

  • Q:

    What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of inkjet printing versus laser etching of UID marks?

    A:

    Inkjet Printing Advantages – Ink jet printing is an additive process. In most cases the printed ink thickness is less than 0.001” thick. Since it is an additive process, unless the ink has been cured, it can be removed in the event of operator error without damage to the part. Inkjet marking is a natural progression to rubber stamping or pad transfer printing. Inkjet marking systems range from $8.5K to over $100K, depending on system configuration. Portable inkjet printing systems are available whereby small or medium sized parts can be brought to the marking system for UID identification. When printing large parts, the ink jet print head can be brought to the part for marking. Print contrast can be achieved by printing a white or light background followed by a black or dark mark.

    Inkjet Printing Disadvantages – Ink jet printers require consumables, inks and system fluids (also referred to as Makeup or solvent). In order to achieve marking permanency with the ink selected for use a curing process (UV or thermal) may be required. Chemical waste is generated by an ink jet process during the head cleaning, printer maintenance or general part cleaning process. MEK inks may be required for Mil-Std 130 UID compliance. Not all ink jet printers are the same. Some require more maintenance than others, making printer selection more difficult. Care and process considerations must be considered in order to avoid implementing a messy process. May require multiple ink jet printers, generally a white and a black ink printer, in order to obtain the necessary print contrast on select parts. Pigmented (white or yellow ink) inkjet printers require significantly more maintenance and are not capable of achieving high resolution marks. Ink jet printers can clog if not properly maintained.

    Laser Etching Advantages – Laser etching or marking is a subtractive process; material is removed to generate the mark. Thus laser marks are permanent marks without requiring any curing process to achieve marking permanency. High resolution print quality is achievable. No potentially hazardous chemicals are required. Laser marking systems range from $25K to over $100K, depending on system configuration.

    Laser Etching Disadvantages – Improper setup can generate scrap or require remarking in newly designated areas. Set-up times for individual parts can vary. Provisions for operator safety must be incorporated into the marking process. These provisions include: incorporating Class I enclosures, installation within controlled environments, extensive operator and maintenance personnel training, and posting of laser warning signs. Laser etching systems can be costly when properly integrated. For high power laser systems water chillers may be required. Fume extractors are recommended in order to remove laser debris. Improper setup can cause potential mark penetration problems. Laser etching process requires a higher skilled operator.

UID Compliant Marking

  • Q:

    I need to implement a UID compliant marking process at our company. From a simplistic viewpoint what do we need to do?

    A:

    Mil-Std 130 UID compliance is a threefold requirement:

    a) Applying a UID compliant mark or label to contractually specified parts;
    b) Verify UID marked parts to ISO/IEC 15415 or ASTM 9132. (Maintain proof of verification);
    c) Submit UID part information to the DoD Wide Area Network.

  • Q:

    What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of inkjet printing versus laser etching of UID marks?

    A:

    Inkjet Printing Advantages – Ink jet printing is an additive process. In most cases the printed ink thickness is less than 0.001” thick. Since it is an additive process, unless the ink has been cured, it can be removed in the event of operator error without damage to the part. Inkjet marking is a natural progression to rubber stamping or pad transfer printing. Inkjet marking systems range from $8.5K to over $100K, depending on system configuration. Portable inkjet printing systems are available whereby small or medium sized parts can be brought to the marking system for UID identification. When printing large parts, the ink jet print head can be brought to the part for marking. Print contrast can be achieved by printing a white or light background followed by a black or dark mark.

    Inkjet Printing Disadvantages – Ink jet printers require consumables, inks and system fluids (also referred to as Makeup or solvent). In order to achieve marking permanency with the ink selected for use a curing process (UV or thermal) may be required. Chemical waste is generated by an ink jet process during the head cleaning, printer maintenance or general part cleaning process. MEK inks may be required for Mil-Std 130 UID compliance. Not all ink jet printers are the same. Some require more maintenance than others, making printer selection more difficult. Care and process considerations must be considered in order to avoid implementing a messy process. May require multiple ink jet printers, generally a white and a black ink printer, in order to obtain the necessary print contrast on select parts. Pigmented (white or yellow ink) inkjet printers require significantly more maintenance and are not capable of achieving high resolution marks. Ink jet printers can clog if not properly maintained.

    Laser Etching Advantages – Laser etching or marking is a subtractive process; material is removed to generate the mark. Thus laser marks are permanent marks without requiring any curing process to achieve marking permanency. High resolution print quality is achievable. No potentially hazardous chemicals are required. Laser marking systems range from $25K to over $100K, depending on system configuration.

    Laser Etching Disadvantages – Improper setup can generate scrap or require remarking in newly designated areas. Set-up times for individual parts can vary. Provisions for operator safety must be incorporated into the marking process. These provisions include: incorporating Class I enclosures, installation within controlled environments, extensive operator and maintenance personnel training, and posting of laser warning signs. Laser etching systems can be costly when properly integrated. For high power laser systems water chillers may be required. Fume extractors are recommended in order to remove laser debris. Improper setup can cause potential mark penetration problems. Laser etching process requires a higher skilled operator.

  • Q:

    We currently affix metal tags to our products but need to now meet Mil-Std 130 UID requirements. We don’t want to discard all of the metal tags we currently have in-stock but must meet Mil-Std 130 requirements. What is the most cost effective way of meeting the requirement?

    A:

    Assuming your metal tags have the alphanumeric text requirements printed on your tag and the only requirement is to add the UID 2D code onto the tag, the most cost effective way is to affix a UID 2D code to your existing tag. In most cases JETEC can provide UID 2D codes and verification reports within 2-3 days after receipt of UID label request.

  • Q:

    I have Videojet Excel HR series inkjet printers and want to print Mil-Std 130 UID compliant 2D codes. Are they capable?

    A:

    Videojet Excel High Resolution (HR) Series industrial ink jet printers require Extended Serial Interface (ESI) firmware and a printer device control interface software, such as JETEC’s IMS2701 or IMS5000 in order to print verifiable Mil-Std 130 UID compliant 2D codes.

  • Q:

    How can I determine if my existing industrial inkjet printer can be used for Mil-Std 130 UID compliance?

    A:

    Unfortunately, not all industrial inkjet printer manufacturers are knowledgeable of the full extent of the printing capabilities of their printers. Therefore, we recommend that you speak with both the original printer manufacturer and a recommended system integrator experienced in integrating that printer. System integrators tend to have a better firsthand knowledge of individual printer capabilities.

  • Q:

    We currently use rubber stamps to mark our product information but are now required to direct product mark our parts with Mil-Std 130 UID compliant 2D codes. What process alternatives are available for compliance?

    A:

    Inkjet, laser etching, dot peening, electro-chemical etching and labeling are all process alternatives capable of meeting Mil-Std 130 requirements. The first step is to review your contractual requirements to see if a particular process has been identified by your customer.

    Assuming no specific process has been defined by your customer, the next step is to determine whether an additive or subtractive process is preferred. An additive process is one in which the UID mark is added to your part. Industrial ink jet printing and labeling are additive processes. A subtractive process is one where material is removed from the part to generate the UID mark. Examples of subtractive processes are laser etching, dot peening and electro-chemical etching.

    The closest process to rubber stamping is industrial ink jet printing. Most industrial ink jet printing systems are digital ink jet printing systems capable of printing alphanumeric text, bar codes, 2D codes, serial numbers and logos. Selecting the right ink jet printer, ink and system configuration is crucial to implementing a robust, reliable ink jet marking system alternative to rubber stamping.

  • Q:

    What is a metal photo etch UID label or nameplate?

    A:

    Metal photo etch is a process whereby high resolution photo images are imprinted on metal surfaces. The National Association of Graphic and Product Identification Manufactures, Inc. (GPI) considers this process to be the most durable for aluminum identification plates. Look to JETEC as your one stop supplier for metal photo nameplates. Send your request to info@jetec.com.

2D Code Readers & Verifiers:

  • Q:

    What is the difference between 2D code reading and verification?

    A:

    2D code reading is generally achieved with either a handheld or fixed mount 2D code reader. 2D readers can read a printed 2D code and decipher its contents but are generally incapable of grading the quality of the printed 2D code. A verifier, on the other hand, is a calibrated vision device capable of reading and grading the 2D code quality. Most verifiers are calibrated against a NIST or equivalent standard.

MIL-STD 130 UID Compliance Using CIJ Industrial Ink Jet Printers

  • Q:

    Can industrial ink jet printers from such manufactures as Videojet, Markem-Imaje, Domino and Leibinger be used to print UID compliant 2D codes?

    A:

    Depending on the model of printers from each manufacturer you may be able to achieve a compliant MIL-STD-130 UID 2D code. However, the printer will also dictate the size constraints of the printed 2D code. For best results, we recommend the use of JETEC’s IMS2701 or IMS5000 to interface or control the ink jet printer thereby providing users the capability to optimize their printed output.

  • Q:

    I have Videojet Excel Series Printers (170i, UHS, 2000 or HR models) and want to print compliant UID codes. Is this achievable?

    A:

    These printers are older version Videojet printers and in most cases currently non-supported by Videojet. They were not designed to print UID or QR 2D codes. However, when interfaced with JETEC’s IMS2701 or IMS5000 software compliant codes are achievable. For more information, contact us at info@jetec.com.

  • Q:

    What are some of the specific MIL-STD-130 UID features available within JETEC’s IMS2701 or IMS5000 software?

    A:

    Some of the JETEC embedded features include, but are not limited to: selecting between square or rectangular 2D codes (MIL-STD-130 allows for both configurations); user selectable number of dots per cell; user selectable construct; data identifier reference and automatic matrix determination.

  • Q:

    What other printers, other than Videojet printers, have JETEC tested or are in the process of testing for MIL-STD 130 compliant UID printing capability?

    A:

    JETEC has successfully tested several of Domino’s printers, including the older A200 series printers; Markem-Imaje, Metronic Alphajet Series and Leibinger JET3 printers. Today most ink jet printers can print 2D codes however, some better than others. Need a recommendation, contact us at info@jetec.com.

JETEC Software

  • Q:

    Our company purchased an ink jet system from Automation Plus and wants to use JETEC’s IMS5000 software. Can our system be retrofit to use your software?

    A:

    Yes, our IMS5000 software can be added to most XYZ based systems manufactured by our competitors. We have switched several Automation Plus systems over to our software. Contact us at info@jetec.com should you wish to consider a retrofit or if you would like to speak with references of customers who have made the software switch.

  • Q:

    I understand Videojet no longer supports the Excel HR printer. We are running Videojet’s 16-5900 black ink but Videojet’s new printers cannot use this ink. We are being told that we need to switch to a new ink if we use their new printers. What do you recommend?

    A:

    Videojet’s new 1000 series printers are very good printers however we understand the need to maintain your existing ink and the problems and costs associated with attempting to switch inks. JETEC does offer a printer that can run the existing 16-5900 black ink and if you are presently a JETEC customer you will be pleased to know that you will be able to run your existing programs with this new printer. For more information contact us at info@jetec.com.

  • Q:

    I need the capability to print Windows fonts and custom logos with my ink jet printer. Is this achievable?

    A:

    Both JETEC’s IMS2701 and IMS5000 software packages allow uses to extend the capabilities of their ink jet printers by featuring the capability to print Windows fonts and monochromatic bitmap images.

Marking Specifications

  • Q:

    What aerospace companies does JETEC have marking compliance for and per what specifications?

    A:

    JETEC takes pride in understanding the marking specifications and requirements for their target customers. Some of the companies and specifications include: Boeing (BAC5307); Bell Helicopter (BPS 4050), Lockheed (EMAPS), Pratt & Whitney (PWA 310), ROHR Inc. (RPS 13.99_SCO_45), Sikorsky (558798), Airbus Operations Ltd (ABP 9-3323), Rolls Royce (JES_131), Northrop Grumman (GSS4710), MD Helicopters (MDP8-8), Bombardier (BAMS 516-007) and Gulfstream Aerospace (GAMPS 1105_C), to name a few.

    Need a copy of an aerospace part marking specification, contact us at info@jetec.com.

  • Q:

    Other than aerospace company specifications can you tell me what other specifications JETEC marking systems are in compliance with?

    A:

    JETEC’s target market is aerospace, automotive, electronics (including defense electronics marking), textiles and medical device manufacturers. Some of the specifications that we offer compliant systems and contract parts marking services include: Mil-Std 883, Mil-Std 202, Mil-Std 130, NASA ASTM E595 Outgassing, A-A-56032 and CID A-A-208.

  • Q:

    What are some of the techniques that JETEC can offer for counterfeit diversion or detection of my products?

    A:

    Unfortunately, there is no one guaranteed way to prevent counterfeiting of manufactured parts. However, JETEC can offer solutions that may deter or at a minimum, allow you to detect if a part is a counterfeit part. These techniques include, but are not limited to, DNA marking, invisible marking and a combination of proven techniques. Contact us at info@jetec.com to discuss your requirements.

General

  • Q:

    What is the difference between ink stamping and ink jet printing?

    A:

    Although the terms are many times used synonymously there is a difference between the two techniques. Ink stamping is performed using a rubber stamp. Ink is stored within an ink pad, transferred to the rubber stamp and then transferred to the part, leaving the desired image. Conversely, ink jet printing is a non-contact printing process that sprays controlled dots to form the characters, numbers, logos, etc. Today, both technologies can be used for the marking of aerospace parts.