I Spy with My Little Eye: Markings Made by GT SCHMIDT
There is a popular myth that you are never more than a yardstick away from a spider. Arachnophobes can relax – it’s not really true. However, it’s possible that you are seldom more than three feet away from something that contains information applied by our marking systems. Sound like another tall tale? Let’s check out a typical day and see how many examples we can find. It will help get your mind off those spiders.
Look up at the shower head while you bathe. You may see the logo of the manufacturer and perhaps their unique part number etched into it. Do you wear jewelry – a watch, bracelet or ring? Besides the obvious personal engraving, there is probably a mark defining the type of metal and quality. Sterling silver is stamped with 925. For gold, a mark denoting the level of purity 10k, 14k, 18k, 24k, etc., is usually stamped on the inner surface.
If you’re having cereal for breakfast (or almost any food product) the package contains a bar code for inventory control and scanning for the price at the checkout counter. Even if you’re not using the good silverware, your spoon has a logo or pattern style stamped on the back of the handle. When you wash it, there’s that manufacturer’s logo on the faucet again.
Out the Door
Time to pack up for work. Got your stainless steel water bottle? You’ll find a logo and catalog number and maybe even a 2D data matrix or barcode marked there. Cell phone charged and ready? Bet there’s logos laser marked all over it. And don’t forget your keys! They have logos, stock numbers and if they are duplicates, perhaps the name and phone number of your local locksmith or hardware store. When you go to lock up on your way our, the door latch assembly is chock full of markings.
On Your Way
Opening your car door with your key fob (the functions are laser marked), the dashboard greets you with all the controls marked with symbols for quick recognition and instant use. We won’t mention all the car parts and traffic signals and stop signs you pass that contain informational markings on your drive in (okay, we just did).
Finally, you reach the office. Pull out your laptop and check out who manufactured it. It’s hard to miss, along with the model number, serial number, a 2D data matrix, and a catchy brand name. Same thing applies to your keyboard and computer mouse.
Off the Job
Back at home, you relax by unlocking the padlock on your shed and having some DIY fun with your collection of power tools. Okay, you get the picture. By now you know what you’re going to find when you look them over. Markings. Lots of markings.
We Are Everywhere
Unlike the spider myth, I think you can see it’s hard to go through a day without coming in contact with markings on a wide variety of materials that provide information, branding, inventory control and numerous other functions. It’s pretty fascinating. But a lot less creepy than those spiders! Ugh!