New laser marking method under development
A collaboration between Massachusetts-based CiMatrix Corp. and NASA`s Marshall Space Flight Center (Huntsville, AL) has led to the opening of the Symbology Research Center, also in Huntsville. The center will market a new method of identifying products with invisible and "virtually indestructible" markings. The laser-etched markings are seen as the next generation of product "barcodes." The markings can range from 4 µm to 2 sq ft. "Everything from electronic parts to pharmaceuticals to livestock" will use the new marking system, says Donald Roxby, director of the Symbology Research Center. The digital-data-matrix technology was originally developed to identify the millions of parts that compose space shuttles such as Endeavour. CiMatrix is a division of Robotic Vision Systems (Hauppauge, NY). The Huntsville center will serve as the prototype for additional centers worldwide.