The creation of lasers,focused CO2 laser beams for laser cutting were first introduced in 1967, with researchers at Boeing leading the charge in developing the technology in the ensuing years, leading to a modern CO2 laser cutter in 1975.
All of these advances factored into the history of laser engraving and eventually paved the way for laser marking and laser engraving systems to be developed and incorporated into a wide range of industries.
Other Forms of Marking and the Rise in Bar Codes and Serialization
Of course, laser marking isn’t the only form of product marking, but as we’ve outlined before, laser marking outperforms other methods such as dot peen, electrochemical, and ink-jet.
All of these forms of marking, however, including laser marking, have greatly been impacted by the advent of bar codes and serialization. Without these codes, product marking would be much more limited and certain forms of marking might not have been developed or been seen as necessary or valuable
Prior to the implementation of bar codes, stores had no reliable way to keep track of their products to know how much of an item was being sold or how often new orders needed to be made. This particularly impacted the grocery industry since the time from acquiring a product to selling it and can often be much quicker than in many other fields.
The teacher experimented with various data collection techniques for the next two years, eventually landing on a modified Morse code to create the first, rudimentary bar codes.
In the 1950s and 1960s, similar code systems were developed by David Collins of the railway industry to keep track of rail cars, and these systems employed colored lights and sensors to read information.
Collins altered his work in the 1960s to incorporate laser beams, producing the first modern bar code scanners and paving the way for the technology we know today.
It took some years of testing and perfecting, but bar codes were finally ready for the commercial market in 1974 and were first utilized by a grocery store to scan a 10-pack of Wrigley’s chewing gum.
By 1984, 33% of grocery stores had adopted bar codes. By the end of the century, the technology would be essentially ubiquitous within grocery stores and retail outlets.
The Rise of Laser Engraving and Laser Marking
As bar codes spread, lasers weren’t just utilized for the reading of product information, but also in this information’s creation. With new advances in technology, lasers began to be able to mark or engrave materials to create bar codes, serial numbers, 2D codes, UDI codes, logos, designs, and more.
After knowing the origin of the engraving machine, do you love the engraving industry even more? Join the Monport family and record the beauty of life with me.