History of Monode Marking Products


Millions of Parts to Mark

World War II led to the largest increase in industrial production in U.S. history. The aircraft manufacturing industry alone doubled in size each year from 1939 to 1942, becoming the largest single industry in the world.

Over 300,000 aircraft were manufactured in the United States during the war, each built from tens of thousands of individual parts.

This surge in production challenged industry to create new methods for quickly and cost-effectively marking the millions of new parts being created each month. Significant advances in steel stamping and electrochemical etching were made during this era.


Post-War Boom

Bill and Al Mackey founded Imperial Stamp & Engraving in Chicago. Born during America's post-war boom and located in the heart of the nation's manufacturing heartland, the company experienced tremendous growth. Imperial's revolutionary heat-treated process allowed products to be individually stamped in their hardened state – a major innovation in marking.

Monode was founded in Cleveland and was the first electrochemical etching industry of its kind. Unlike steel stamps, electrochemical etching could mark conductive metal surfaces without compromising the material's integrity. The manufacturing industry quickly embraced etching and Monode's early marking units became fixtures in production lines around the world.


A Marking Revolution

As electrochemical etching spread throughout the manufacturing industry Monode saw an opportunity to revolutionize the process even further. Monode introduced its first automatic system which could operate and synchronize markers, turntables and conveyors on an assembly line. This allowed for fast and reliable duplication of marks in a continuous production environment.


Custom Engineering

By the 1970s, Monode was frequently working closely with manufacturers to integrate custom automatic marking systems directly into production lines.

Monode developed a reputation that continues to this day as an innovative partner in the design and integration of marking systems.

In 1976, Imperial Stamp & Engraving purchased Monode Marking Products under Bill Mackey's leadership.


Close-Up On Etching

Monode continued to advance the state of electrochemical etching throughout the 1980s through constant research and development.

This scanning electron microscope image commissioned by Monode's R&D department shows how an etch mark is created by the redeposit of metal oxide onto a conductive metal substrate.


Computers Make a Mark

Introduced in the early 90's, Monode's revolutionary PMS2001 dot peen marking system featured three independent, computer-controlled axes of motion. This technology allowed for easy integration into the manufacturing process and greater flexibility after installation.


Marking Takes Flight

As Monode entered the new millennium, the company made bold advances in marking that were embraced by manufacturers of high precision components for the aerospace, medical and defense industries.

Monode's Vestige marking systems use a pulsed Ytterbium fiber laser to create fast and flexible markings. The BenchDot dot peen marking systems employ a diamond or carbide stylus to provide precise and deep marks at a high speed. The systems became integral in the marking of everything from eighty-ton crane booms to turbine components for Lockheed Martin's F-22 Raptor.


Bringing It All Together

Remaining true to the spirit of innovation first embodied by its founders over a half-century ago, Monode continues to pioneer groundbreaking developments for the industry.


As unit-level parts tracking became critical to the automotive, medical, aerospace and defense industries, Monode responded with Traceable-IT. This software suite ties together legacy systems, marking machines, vision systems and databases to provide cradle-to-grave parts traceability.

UID Solutions

Monode is recognized as an expert in the Department of Defense's UID initiative, which requires a permanent machine-readable Data Matrix barcode on a wide variety of parts. Monode provides both products and services to help vendors achieve and maintain compliance.