Fairfield are experts in the marking of surgical instruments for track & trace purposes. We can do this in one of two ways:

Key Dots

Key dots are an effective and affordable solution for tracking individual surgical instruments and can be incorporated into most existing instrument tracking software.

Key dots are small, laser-engraved Datamatrix barcode labels that can be applied directly to an instrument’s surface. Each key dot contains a unique number or a hospital’s GS1 code, allowing them to be tracked individually throughout the whole sterilisation, usage and cleaning cycles. Key dots are available in a number of sizes, starting from just 3.2mm in diameter and are available in sheets of 100.

Designed to withstand harsh environments and temperature conditions, key dots can last up to 200 processing cycles and have been scientifically evaluated for sterility and biocompatibility by an independent medical testing laboratory who have established that key dots are safe for use on surgical instruments.

How are key dots applied?

The application of key dots is quick and easy. Simply clean the application thoroughly to ensure it is free from any grease or contaminants, lift the required key dot from its sheet with tweezers and apply to the selected area on your instrument. Then, apply a firm pressure to ensure 100% contact between the key dot and your instrument, before sterilising the instrument, which will help ‘wet-out’ the adhesive to form a strong bond.

How do key dots work?

The key dot links a specific instrument to a data file within the hospital’s software application, so that a particular instrument can be tracked through the entire instrument processing cycle.

Instruments with a key dot identifier are scanned using a 2D barcode reader. Fairfield can supply a range of hand-held or fixed-head scanners to suit your process preference.

For more information on our Key Dots, contact us or fill in the form below.

Fairfield’s laser marking of surgical instruments has been checked by GS1 UK and has met with compliance to the following GS1 standards:

GS1 Identification Keys:

  • Items: Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), Global Model Number (GMN)
  • Assets: Global Individual Asset Identifier (GIAI)

GS1 Data Carriers:

  • Barcodes: EAN/UPC, GS1-128, ITF-14, GS1 DataBar, GS1 DataMatrix, GS1 QR Code

Download a copy of our GS1 Certification here.

Direct Laser Marking

In this method, instead of using a tiny applied label, we would mark the instrument’s surface with a durable marking. As above, we can supply a range of sizes of markings, from 3.2mm upwards.

For this method, we would offer a bureau-marking service where we would mark your instruments in our in-house facility and then return the marked instruments back to you. All we would need is your GS1 numbering details and we can do the rest for you.

What About Existing Instruments?

Our service takes into account instruments already in circulation, as well as any newly purchased instruments. We pride ourselves on the ability to work with you to develop optimal methods of grouping instruments for marking. This can be scheduled to integrate smoothly into your existing processes. It is a critical aspect that ensures the maximum instrument volume is marked at any one time, and minimises wasted time when instruments are not available.

What About New Purchases?

In order to maintain both your inventory of uniquely marked instruments, and protect your code ranges used, Fairfield offers an innovative solution to new instruments that require marking. When you purchase new stock that requires marking, supply them to us, and we will mark them in accordance with your defined coding structure, and ship back to you.

Scanning Key Dots or Direct Instrument Markings

Efficient scanning of Key Dots or Direct-marked instruments is essential in a fast-moving Healthcare environment. Fairfield supply DPM-compatible scanners to read your codes first time, every time. A typical scanner is shown below – contact us for details of our scanners suitable for small 2D codes.

For further details, please contact us or complete the form below.

To download a copy of our Key-dots Brochure, click here or to download a copy of our Healthcare Brochure, click here.

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