Information about a workpiece is normally stored separately from it, e.g. in databases or on paper. This can be overcome by storing the information during processing directly on the surface, which enables its use in every stage of the lifecycle. To achieve this, microstructures are used to carry coded information. These microstructures are produced by a piezo-electric driven turning tool which allows a motion perpendicular to the surface up to a frequency of 6 kHz. Sophisticated methods of signal processing and an optimized turning process are used for data storage with high data density and data integrity even when the surface is partly destructed.