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topic 403

Bar coding for tracking material flow in anodizing shop


We have ramped up anodizing production from 1 ton a day to 8 ton a day. We anodize aluminium extrusions from a variety of window fabricators. Our problem is that we simply cannot keep track of all the extrusions that reach our plant. We receive extrusions in a variety of lengths.

Is there some way we can bar code the extrusions so that even after immersion in caustic and acid the bar code stays intact? Alternatively, Is there some way we can mark the extrusions?

Please help, we have many irate customers on our hands who feel their material is being mixed up with others material.


Sanjay A. Bulchandani
- Bombay, India


Simple solution . . . in my shop, which runs hundreds of different orders a day, we place computer generated labels on all packages as they are received and entered into our system. The label has customer name, job info & a shop order #.

When we rack the parts we put a slip of paper with the customer & shop order # in a ziplock bag which gets attached to every rack with a nylon tie. This bag & tie holds up fine during our anodize & hardcoat procedure & after finishing, when the job goes to the packing department, the packer knows what they are packing & then relabels the finished packages..

David A. Kraft
- Long Island City, New York


Although I am not aware of a bar-code method that can withstand the chemicals found on an anodizing line, I use a system of plastic tags, each with a number on them. The tags are fastened to the anodizing rack and the number on the tag is then recorded on the job ticket. When the parts are unracked after anodizing, we just match up the number on the rack with the correct number on the job ticket. This system has helped us to avoid mixed up jobs. In addition, if your customers will allow it, you might try inscribing the customer name (or first letter) directly onto a non-critical area of the extrusion.

Keith Rosenblum
plating shop - St. Paul, Minnesota


Maybe laser marking the part prior to anodize will give the desired result. If the marking is done heavy enough it should still be clear after etch and anodize.

Paul Merwin
- California

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