Camcode's History and Experience with DoD Label Applications and UID Labels
Label and Data Plates for Department of Defense Applications
When companies talk about challenging applications for products, they inevitably refer to Department of Defense and NASA application requirements. And why shouldn’t they? There are few commercial applications that match the demands and performance requirements of these entities. Vehicles, systems, devices of every sort placed in the harshest of environments, and in many cases, where others are intent on destroying them.
A seemingly small detail of the design of these items is that of the label or data plate. Yet without this detail, identification of items and instructions for their use and maintenance would be difficult. So the requirement for DoD labels and nameplates is that they must remain legible in the same harsh environments as the equipment itself.
In 1953, a product was introduced to the industry to meet that challenge. Metalphoto® anodized photosensitized aluminum was invented by Horizons Incorporated (Horizons Research at that time) and introduced to the Navy as a labeling alternative to hand engraved brass and stainless steel labels and data plates. The premise was that Metalphoto would last as long, be faster and less expensive to make, and provide greatly enhanced graphic capabilities. Well, here we are more than 55 years later and it’s no longer a premise – it’s a fact. Metalphoto performs and remains legible for decades in the harshest environments and most challenging applications.
Metalphoto, (produced by our sister division, The Imaging Systems Group of Horizons Incorporated) has been used to mark every U.S. Navy vessel built since the 1960’s, thousands of components for Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Bell, Sikorsky, and McDonnell Douglas military aircraft, Osh Kosh Trucks, General Dynamics tanks, AM General Humvees, and millions of additional items from weapons to rafts. In addition every Boeing Commercial aircraft is now marked with Metalphoto and NASA has it on the International Space Station. Not a bad resume.
So when it comes to standing up to weather, wind, fuels, sand, paint, sunlight, temperature extremes, salt spray and abrasion – for 20 year life expectancy… Metalphoto gets the call.
Item Unique Identification has raised the standard for label and data plate performance. Now we talk about readability/scan-ability not just legibility. A data matrix cell is less than a grain of salt in size. The DoD wants it to be readable for the life of their equipment – even if scratched, abraded, scorched, exposed, frozen, stained, or generally abused. They would like it to be readable through the refurbishment/repair process as well.
Camcode was a leader in permanent bar code label manufacturing before IUID was first whispered. Our products and service were perfected long before UID. Add some research, equipment, process steps and trained people, and you get a state of the art UID label manufacturer. Camcode knows more about materials, processes, adhesives, and applications than anyone. And it all comes free with your UID label order!
Add one measure of Metalphoto and one measure of Camcode metal bar code label manufacturing expertise to get a UID label that truly meets the demands of DoD equipment marking. Contact us – we are up to the challenge!