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"Helping others to have a future assures our own."

THE NU-ERA TECHNOLOGY SUITE - ENABLING COST-AFFORDABLE INDIVIDUAL IDENTIFICATION (Continued)

The Laser Etcher (Researched Only)

Purpose of the Laser Etcher.  The laser etcher enables the NU-ERA barcode to be engraved onto the surface of any "hard" object.  This eliminates the need for tags and labels and, combined with the robust nature of the barcode, provides a level of surety the barcode will survive for the life of the article.

Overview of the Laser Etcher.  At the time of writing, there are available a number of portable laser etching systems capable of etching glass, plastic, metal, wood and paper.  These systems, as depicted in Figure 8, suffer the drawback of being heavy and expensive (circa US$70,000).  Importantly, though, for large companies and organisations such as Defence, these systems are practical.

DataMatrix comprised of Dots

Figure 9.  DataMatrix Comprised of Dots

Etching Barcodes  Tests using this system show that it is possible to create a NU-ERA or DataMatrix barcode comprised of dots (per Figure 9) on metal, plastic and wood in around 1/100th of a second. (To etch glass it is best to use a CO2 Laser.)


Essential Characteristics.  For the laser etcher system to be useful in enabling NU-ERA technology to be pervasive, the laser etcher has to be lightweight, and hence easily portable, and it must be affordable by small business.  Much of the expense in the present-day laser etching systems lies in the fact they are designed to etch complex patterns and shapes.

Dots are easy to create.  Having a barcode only consist of dots makes possible the construction of a laser head which is only comprised of hi-intensity laser sources set at a fixed distance apart.  This head can either move, just like a printer head in a dot matrix printer, or the head can have sufficient laser emitters, in a 2D Matrix, such that, in one pulse, all of the dots necessary to create a NU-ERA barcode are etched (potentially 1620 dots in total).

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