The GAO (U.S. Government Accountability Office) estimated that the Department of Defense could have saved millions of dollars through better tracking of inventory. One method adopted by the DoD was new requirements on part tracking using permanently marked UID codes. Each symbol may use UCC.EAN, ANSI MH 10.8.2 or ATA style descriptors containing items such manufacturer, part number and serial number. Vendors supplying parts to the Department of Defense are required to supply parts with UID Data Matrix.
PCB depaneling (singulation) laser machines and systems have been gaining popularity over recent years. Mechanical depanaling/singulation is done with routing, die cutting, and dicing saw methods. However, as the boards get smaller, thinner, flexible, and more sophisticated, those methods produce even more exaggerated mechanical stress to the parts. Large boards with heavy substrates absorb these stresses better, while these methods used on ever-shrinking and complex boards can result in breakage. This brings lower throughput, along with the added costs of tooling.