Case Study: Aerospace Asset Identification with Metalphoto
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Published on August 15, 2023

Metalphoto is a durable, high-resolution, photosensitive anodized aluminum material that is commonly used for labeling, signage, and asset identification in various industries. One case study that illustrates the use of Metalphoto involves its application in the aerospace industry.

Case Study: Aerospace Asset Identification with Metalphoto

Aircraft and aerospace equipment require precise and reliable labeling for identification, traceability, and safety purposes. Traditional methods of labeling, such as screen printing or adhesive labels, might not withstand the harsh conditions of aerospace environments, including extreme temperatures, high humidity, exposure to chemicals, and potential abrasion. This is where Metalphoto comes into play.

A major aerospace manufacturer is responsible for producing various components and systems for commercial and military aircraft. These components range from control panels to critical instrument panels and structural elements. The manufacturer needs a labeling solution that can withstand the demanding conditions of aerospace environments while maintaining readability and durability over the aircraft’s lifespan.

The aerospace manufacturer decides to implement Metalphoto as the labeling solution for their components and equipment. Here’s how the process unfolds:

  1. Design and Customization:
    STRYKER designs labels using specialized software that takes into account the required information, such as part numbers, serial numbers, safety warnings, and other essential details. The design is then converted into a format compatible with the Metalphoto process.
  2. Metalphoto Production:
    The anodized aluminum sheets are prepared for the Metalphoto process. The sheets are cleaned and coated with a photosensitive emulsion. The emulsion is exposed to UV light through a negative mask that contains the label designs. The exposed areas of the emulsion harden, while the unexposed areas remain soluble.
  3. Development and Fixing:
    The unexposed emulsion is washed away, leaving behind a durable image in the anodized layer of the aluminum. The metal is then subjected to a chemical fixing process that locks the image into the aluminum’s surface. This results in a highly durable label that is resistant to fading, abrasion, chemicals, and extreme temperatures.
  4. Label Installation:
    The Metalphoto labels are precision-cut according to the required dimensions and shapes. They are then applied to various aerospace components using adhesive backing or mechanical fasteners, depending on the specific application.

The aerospace manufacturer experiences several benefits by using Metalphoto for asset identification:

  1. Durability: Metalphoto labels can withstand harsh environmental conditions, including extreme temperatures, humidity, UV radiation, and exposure to chemicals commonly found in aerospace environments.
  2. Readability: The high-resolution imaging capabilities of Metalphoto ensure that labels remain legible over time, contributing to accurate asset identification and maintenance.
  3. Traceability: The permanent nature of Metalphoto labels helps in maintaining accurate records and traceability of aerospace components, which is crucial for safety, maintenance, and compliance.
  4. Cost Savings: Metalphoto labels have a longer lifespan compared to traditional labeling methods, reducing the need for frequent replacement and maintenance.
  5. Regulatory Compliance: Metalphoto labels can be designed to meet industry-specific regulations and standards, ensuring that the aerospace manufacturer remains compliant with relevant requirements.

In conclusion, the aerospace industry’s case study demonstrates the effectiveness of Metalphoto as a durable and reliable asset identification solution. Its ability to withstand the demanding conditions of aerospace environments makes it an ideal choice for labeling critical components and equipment.