Laser marking is typically used for processes such as applying labels with bar codes, date codes, QR codes, serial numbers, part numbers or adding copyright / trademarks and logos to a number of different surfaces in many industries. Another popular use is the addition of a date value being added to materials such as metals and plastics; this could be used as a best before date or maintenance due date, etc. Additionally laser marking is useful in the creation of ID and smartcards offering high degrees of fraud prevention.
The best traditional engraving materials started out being the worst laser-engravable materials. This problem has now been solved using lasers at shorter wavelengths than the traditional 10,640 nm wavelength CO2 laser. Using Yb: Fiber Lasers, Nd:YVO4 or Nd:YAG lasers at 1,064 nm wavelength, or its harmonics at 532 and 355 nm, metals can now easily be engraved using commercial systems.