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UDI Compliant Laser Marking Finally Possible

26 September

Headland Admin

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Unique identifying marks on all medical equipment

With global supply chains stretched thin and  concerns around the growing prevalence of bacteria and virus’ in hospitals, the global health community and the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia have moved to implement a Unique Device Identification (UDI) system on medical equipment.

The UDI system will require unique identifying marks on all medical equipment to prevent critical equipment from being lost in supply chains and also to ensure such equipment is maintained correctly and accounted for pre- and post-surgery.

Why marking is so necessary

All medical equipment has a shelf life and needs periodic servicing and repair work. Equipment also needs be stored safely and readily accessible to medical staff for future use.

Counterfeit equipment is also a serious issue in the space, as medical equipment is often quite expensive.

Marking medical equipment with a UDI and placing it on a register will help reduce issues like counterfeiting, stealing and over-use. By scanning a UDI code, information such as correct location, expiration, usage history and servicing is readily available.

Using stickers or traditional laser marking are not viable solutions for implementing an UDI on medical equipment as they can lead to bacteria growth. Equipment like needles, catheters, tweezers, implants, and plate are also heat sensitive and unsuitable for traditional laser marking.

A specialised solution

With specialised laser technologies like the TRUMPF TruMicro, barcodes can be laser marked onto medical devices while ensuring no degradation of the material or weakening in the device walls.

Unlike traditional marking, these specialised lasers do not produce raised or etched surfaces that act as incubators for bacteria growth, but instead mark equipment using an extremely short pulse of intense laser light.

TRUMPF TruMicro pico-second or femtosecond laser can also mark small high precision devices without causing heat damage as there is little to no heat transfer to the material during marking. The Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) is effectively reduced to zero by using a cold marking process with ultra-short pulse laser systems.

With UDI compliance becoming a regulatory requirement in Australia, understanding what products are available to meet the new standards is important.

Learn more

Headland Technology offer world class laser marking technology and are available to explain the UDI requirements and how your business can stay compliant. Contact our laser marking expert Nigel Kelly for more information.