Readers' Challenge: QR Code 3mm Solution Needed

small_QR_CodeA subscriber to The Bar Code News has asked for help to find a solution for his business. We, in turn, are asking our readers – who, we contend, include the most adept and ingenious bar code professionals in the world – to apply their gray matter to this problem, and post an answer demonstrating their erudition in the comment section below. Respondents with answers are invited to shamelessly plug their company or service at the same time.

Up for a little challenge? Read on:

The subscriber’s company makes small metal parts and wants to have a 3mm by 3mm QR code laser etched on to the parts. The QR code will contain a 15 digit alphanumeric code for that part. (Each identical part will contain the same number. No serialization involved.) This is the first part of the problem. Can you recommend a vendor to do this marking?

The second part of the problem – the company wants their salespeople to be able to scan that 3mm x 3mm code with their smartphones, presumably for an inventory/ordering process. 3mm is 0.11811024 inches, according to my calculator.

Thus far, getting their smartphones to scan codes that small has been a problem for the company. I do not know which Smartphone app they are using. Nor do I know if the printer they are using to create and test those codes is up to the task.

Should their smart phones be able to read a 3mm QR code with 15 characters embedded in a code that size? If not, what model of imaging scanner would be good for use in the field?

Can you – the savvy reader – offer an approach, based on experience, to finesse this predicament? If so, the comment section (and acclaim and immortality) awaits below.


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