Direct Part Marks (DPM) are codes, symbols, and text that are etched or printed directly onto the surface of a part instead of affixed by a label. DPM codes, which are most commonly Data Matrix or QR codes, are used for track and trace purposes in a variety of industries, particularly automotive and electronics manufacturing.
The benefit of DPM codes is that they are permanent and cannot be easily removed, obscured, or damaged. DPM codes are also a popular choice for parts with textured surfaces (label will not stick) and very small parts (label will not fit). Because DPM codes last as long as the part itself, the piece can be identified easily identified throughout its entire lifecycle, also known as "cradle-to-grave" traceability.
However, DPM codes can be extremely challenging to read due to poor contrast, so finding a DPM code reading solution is essential for reliable identification.
Since they are etched directly onto the part, DPM codes are very low contrast compared to traditional black barcodes printed on a white background. Plus, there can be significant variability in DPM codes, where and how they are printed on a surface, and features of the surface itself that can significantly impact code readability.
For example, many DPM codes are etched onto reflective, curved, or uneven surface which can be very challenging for barcode readers to identify reliably.
Also, the surface is rarely uniform, meaning that it may also contain granules, stripes, streaks, or other irregularities and imperfections that can further interfere with reliable code reading.
Advanced imager-based code readers use special DPM code reading algorithms to solve these applications reliably. Besides, low angle lighting or the use of different color LEDs can be used to create additional contrast and improve code visibility.
Need to read other challenging codes besides DPM codes? Imager-based barcode readers reliably read 1D and 2D barcodes in any orientation.
Banner Engineering offers code reading solutions that can reliably decode difficult-to-read, low quality, and damaged codes—as well as codes printed on highly reflective surfaces.
Watch the video to learn more about what's new, or browse our selection of imager-based code reading products.
ABR 7000 barcode readers offer superior decoding capability and are in multiple resolutions and a wide range of lens options.
ABR 3000 barcode readers offer superior decoding capability in a compact form factor, multiple resolutions, and a wide range of lens options.
iVu BCR Series barcode readers combine powerful decoding capabilities with ease-of-use to solve challenging traceability applications. These versatile barcode readers are available with a range of lens, lighting, and user interface options.