When it comes to theft of high value assets, prevention is definitely better than cure. Security marking is one of the best prevention methods to deterring theft and turns a standard piece of equipment into a unique asset.
Using fully portable or bench-top marking equipment, assets can be permanently engraved with a unique, tamperproof identification (ID) mark, making an asset and its component parts traceable to their legitimate owner. Unmarked assets could be assumed to be unregistered, on any asset database, thus potentially easier for thieves to sell. However, if an asset is marked with a unique ID, and perhaps personalised with a company logo, the prospects for selling stolen equipment diminishes. Engraving an item with overt identification marks makes it more easily recognisable and helps deter theft.
Marking equipment, such as Dot Peen or Laser Marking Machines, are able to automatically generate and log a unique ID for each item. Additional marks, such as a company logo or encoded data in a 2D Data Matrix Code, can easily be marked in the same pass, assisting with recognition of asset ownership.
The information recorded as part of the security marking process is configurable, either to a specific user or asset type. For instance, some users may record data regarding the condition of equipment against the unique ID and others may upload associated images. The flexibility of configurable data collection combined with the volume of data which can be logged during marking, such as time stamps or physical location, add significant value to an asset database.
Using marking equipment is also a great way of managing assets within a factory or across multiple production sites, combining unique ID marks and related data from multiple marking machines. A networked asset database can be accessed by multiple users from any location. Records can be created offline and combined later; particularly useful for those working in the field without access to an internet connection. Using windows-based asset database software ensures ease of use and flexibility. Using robust, trusted tools to build a database application supports and simplifies future integration with other databases and sharing systems.
A database is only as good as the information it contains. Avoiding errors and ensuring security is paramount to the creation of an asset database.
The marking process is linked to automatic record creation, and records can only be created when an item is marked, eliminating the possibility of an error in the asset database. Database security is built into marking equipment with protected use; fully configurable user rights prevent the creation of fraudulent records. Authorisation levels for different users ensure the ability to alter or write-off records is only available to appropriate personnel. An additional layer of security is the recording of all user actions in order to track patterns of behaviour by a specific database user.
An example of this technology in use today is a weapons marking and registration system developed by Pryor in partnership with a humanitarian, not-for-profit organisation working in former conflict zones across the globe. Using Pryor’s most popular marking machine, the Portadot with embedded touchscreen 4000 Series control unit, the humanitarian teams and governments of the countries in which they are operating are developing a sustainable and comprehensive weapons management system. The Portadot is a robust and fully portable battery powered Dot Peen marking machine and ideally suited to security marking in the field. The dot peen marking machine and control unit are stored in a carry case which can easily be operated in challenging environments without the need for electricity, a pneumatic air line or an internet connection. Weapons are marked with a unique ID, logo and a 2D Data Matrix Code, if required. The marking is controlled via the touchscreen control unit which automatically generates and stores a unique ID or reapplies the weapons original serial number, if known. The marking teams are able to record a wide variety of data associated with the weapon and location which is stored in the asset database. The success of security marking and creating asset databases is proven by commercial and not-for-profit organisations alike.
Find out more about Dot Peen marking machines here
Find out more about Traceability Software here
PRYOR World leading identification tools, designed and manufactured in the UK since 1849.