Tuesday, September 30, 2008

AS9132 – An UID Standard for Quality Uniformity

AS9132 is essentially a coding standard which defines the quality uniformity and other technical requirements for Dot Peen marking and other metal components using Data Matrix symbologies. This standard also defines the standard criteria which are essential to ensure electronic scanning or reading of the symbol.

Being a new Unique Item Identifier (UID) coding standard, AS9132 is widely used for Dot Peen marking of Data Matrix codes. A wide range of industries such as aerospace, automotive and medical have been concerned about direct marking and traceability issues.
Due to the advanced reading and marking technologies of today, the conventional problems found during automated part tracking have now been solved. What is more important is that these revolutionary marking and reading technologies have helped many industries eliminate mistakes that usually take place with conventional and manual tracking methods and procedures.

The Air Transport Association (ATA) has issued specific AS9132 guidelines with regards to the direct part marking of aerospace components. These issued guidelines (SPEC 2000, Chapter 9) state that for permanent part identification items must use bar code technology, and especially Data Matrix symbologies. The main objective is to mark a part with a ‘unique identifier’ to allow tracking of serialized parts during their full life cycle and also facilitate the use of automated processes in parts handling. Although Chapter 9 has specifically mentioned data content, it has not defined quality or technical requirements for Dot Peen and other marking technologies.