Laser technology has come a long way since it was first developed in the 1960s. In just 50-ish years, lasers have revolutionized the way we do business, study the world around us, manufacture parts and heal the sick. Below are just a few ways we use laser technology in our everyday lives.
Before barcodes, inventories were recorded manually. The process was so time consuming that stores would shut down in order to count every can, bag, bean, and parcel they had. Obviously, closing the store to count inventory had a lot of opportunity costs, so stores only did it once per month or so. It was an unreliable method that placed businesses at risk for overflowing storage centers, empty shelves, or theft.
Barcodes revolutionized the supermarket industry and, later, the entire retail industry. They eliminate the possibility for human error, reduce overhead, and make the checkout process fast and easy. And of course, none of this would be possible without laser scanning technology.
Lasers have revolutionized the medical industry, too. Unlike a traditional scalpel, a laser cutter seals as it goes, resulting in less pain and trauma to the tissues. Because it seals blood vessels, there is less bleeding; because it seals lymphatic vessels, there is less postoperative swelling; and because it seals nerve endings, there is less pain. Lastly, the fact that only a beam of light touches the tissues, not a physical instrument, eliminates much of the trauma that occurs using standard surgical techniques.
Laser scalpels have also allowed surgeons to achieve an extreme level of precision. Because of lasers, surgeons can easily remove unhealthy tissue without injuring the healthy surrounding tissues; this means that surgeries where there is very little tissue to spare (i.e. laser eye surgery) is now possible.
Laser machining equipment has enabled us to create small, precise parts that are very difficult to make with traditional cutting and grinding methods. This has resulted in significant advancements in a wide variety of industries, especially industries which require very small, accurate, reliable parts, such as space engineering and automotive manufacturing.
Laser welding allows us to create very precise, controlled joints which were difficult or impossible to make in the past. For this reason, laser welding was instrumental in the development of automated assembly lines that have revolutionized manufacturing around the world.
Before 3D scanners, it was extremely expensive and time-consuming (and in some cases, impossible) to create an accurate model of an object, body part, building component, or geographical structure. Such models usually required professional artist, and were therefore subject to human error.
3D scanners—which convert a scanned objects into a perfect digital representation of itself—changed all that. Now, an accurate model can be taken and reproduced anywhere in the world within minutes. This capability has vastly improved a wide variety of fields, from dentistry, to surveying, to architecture, to aviation. We don’t easily see the benefits of 3D laser scanning technology as we go about our lives, but their effects are all around us.
Without lasers, so much of what we’ve grown accustomed to in the past 50 years wouldn’t be possible. If you are interested in purchasing laser technology in Apex NC, give us a call and we will be happy to help you.