frequently asked questions about matriq’s DynamicMold® (DM) technology
Marking plastic products helps tracking and tracing your device for individualization, identiy, quality control, and protection. It adds value to the single part by associationg information to the very single object. In certain markets, marking has become even mandatory: with a unique device identification (UDI) enforced by regulations for an always increasing number of products, especially in the MedTech and in-vitro diagnostics market. The rationale behind is clear: quality control and traceability. In other sectors, such as automotive and industrial, having a unique identification code on each part would ease the management of recall campaigns and the association to its origin and manufacturing parameters.
The DM-technology was originally conceived for marking in injection molding processes.
However, thanks to its versatility and plug-and-play nature, it is compatible with other plastic forming processes such as thermoforming, blow molding, and hot embossing. We are optimizing our inserts continuously to enable integration in all these forming processes.
We can mark any product totally or partially made of plastics (coming out of a forming or reshaping process). We are providing our marking services for different applications: MedTech, life science, pharma packaging, automotive, consumer goods, and industrial.
As a strong advantage, marking by matriq’s DynamicMold® technology needs no additional footprint at the production site. It does not require any additional equipment nor process steps and happens within milliseconds, right inside the fabrication machine, not affecting the product cycle time. We helpfreeing space for other equipment in the production area.
The DM-insert has meanwhile been validated for marking polymers and copolymers such as PP, PS, PC, ABS, PA, PC/ABS, PC/PET, COP, PET, and PE. DynamicMold® allows to achieve marking also in other polymers, for which we also offer testing your requirement on our own or our partners infrastructure. Please contact us. .
We strieve to develop our DM technology to be suitable for any polymer and any application. Our focus is achieving the highest code quality and contrast on the marked part, along with a long-lasting performance. Here, pressure and temperature of the process, the employed polymer(the flow curve of the polymer melt, i.e. the viscosity versus shear rate in the log-log scale), and the shape and location of the DynamicMold Insert all determine the marking code contrast. Adding fibers to the polymer might change these performance indicator in a way that the native surface of the plastic device cannot remold the pixel of the code in a sufficiently high quality. Fill factors of glass fibers up to 10% yieldmost often good contrast, higher factors might become difficult to mark. Polymers filled with talc are performing well with our technology.
It depends on the radius of curvature of the object to be marked. Our actual inserts have a diameter of 8 mm producing a 2D code of 5 mm by 5 mm. This requires a flat surface matching the Insert’s diameter or a flattend spot on the round surface. However, we are able to mark curved objects at thermo forming and blow molding. In the future, we are also engineering smaller inserts that may accommodate smaller radii of curvature.
Marking by matriq requires three hardware pieces: a DynamicMold Insert that is incorporated into each mold toolcavity (, the DM Controller sitting on the side of the mold tool that drives all Inserts, and the LinQ that provides the power and the network connection aside of the forming machine. In our first version of the system, up to 4 inserts are driven by one Controller.
Today, the DM-insert lifetime is shown to have more than 100’000 cycles. We are currently testing enhanced insert variants with coding durability of at least 250’000 cycles, with a final target of over one million shots per insert. We use state-of-the-art hard coatings to enhance the durability of the mold inserts.
The DM-insert basically allows marking of different types of codes that is set up by individual arbitrarily shaped pixels. As products doday, we provide a binary code for date/time marking and a 200 pixels DataMatrix code coming out in 4Q2023.QR-codes are feasible, however not in our short-term focus. Moreover, we are able to integrate optical features to embed your company logo in our marking and enable brand protection. This is particularly suitable in case your product is facing copyfraud.
A Data Matrix is a modern ISO standard two-dimensional (2D) code consisting of dots or pixel arranged in either a square or rectangular pattern (a matrix). The information to be encoded can be text or numeric data of any type. The DataMatrix code is designed such that it has redundancy in its information content to retore up tp 53% of missing or “defect” pixels. The storage capacity depends on the amount of pixels: a 14x14 DataMatrix encodes 16 numbers or 10 alphanumeric characters, using the ECC200 standard. A 16x16 encodes for 24 numbers or 16 alphanumeric characters.
Our first product DM-date issues – as the name suggests – a digital date and time code on the plastic product surface with a resolution of 1 hour. This type of code will occupy an area of 20 mm2 (4x5). The next generation codes (DataMatrix) will occupy an area of 4.3 mm x 4.3 mm (with 14x14 pixels, DM-qode). Even if it is possible by our technology to have other designs and sizes for codes, we are today focusing on a 14x14 DataMatrix code generator in a 8mm round diameter housing for 4Q2023.
DM hardware is complemented by a software and GUI allowing the machine operator to monitor the marking process using a browser interface. Several key parameters are adjustable to choose between the different pattern possibilities and achieve the highest code quality on the final part. The status of all inserts and all pixels can be observed at any time.
DM is operated by a control unit independent on the machine and mounted on the outer side of the mold. Single cables connect all the inserts mounted in the mold cavities to it. The control unit only needs a power supply (LinQ) and can handle the marking completely autonomously. The inserts are indeed equipped with temperature sensors monitoring the molding/forming process and self-triggering the marking. The connectivity to MES or SCADA systems of our customers or to the cloud solution are being build for the next generation marking inserts.
Products marked by DynamicMold cary a code on their surface that generates optical contrast – it is essentially a direct part marking. Industrial code reader cameras or standard handheld readers can read these DataMatrix codes on the plastic device. Proper lighting enhances the contrast of the code. DataMatrix is an ISO standard 2D code that is widly used in the industry – alorythms to read and interprete these codes are common. Given the indivudalization of every produced parts, allprocess data (e.g. temperature, pressure) and origin parameters (raw material, supplier, machine, mold, cavity etc.) of the specific product are associated, i.e. - linked to the issued code - in a cloud infrastructure and can be retrieved by scanning the code (for DM-qode) along the value chain as well as by the product final user. This allows the connectivity of our marking solution to the fullest along the whole value chain.