Barcode technology is being used in various fields among which one is electronics. Automated assembly, processing, test, and packaging systems provide great benefits for electronic equipment manufacturers. Barcodes can be used for tracking inventory, measuring productivity, and also for implementing engineering changes on WIP (Work in Progress).
A barcode label printed by a Zebra printer is attached to an electronic circuit board. The barcode is scanned at each work center for proper identification. Barcode system helps in automatically setting the process conditions such as solder temperatures, burn-in conditions, flux densities and so on. All the products in and out of workstations can be scanned by barcode system.
Labels attached on these circuit boards may fall off, shrink, curl, or absorb chemicals in the process. So it is required that they should withstand harsh environmental conditions like high solder temperatures. Therefore different label materials are used for circuit boards. Those barcode labels which are subjected to temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit in the soldering process, are made of polyamide materials. Finished products can make use of paper or vinyl labels for inventory checking. The non-solder side of boards can be attached with labels made of polyesters. These labels are attached for checking the work in progress.
In order to match the specific application requirements, it is therefore necessary to select proper label materials. They should properly match thermal, chemical, and optical scanning requirements. Barcode labels made of laser printers have to be protected from harsh environments. A protective layer of lamination is therefore included in case of these labels. However, lamination is not required for labels printed by specific thermal transfer printers like Zebra printers. Thus, they help in saving laminate costs. Many electronic equipment manufacturers make use of these printers.