Transferring industrial laser technology

Nov. 1, 2009

Opportunities abound for companies to learn how advanced laser applications transition to manufacturing operations

I'm a morning person. Always have been, always will be I guess. There's something about the start of a new day that energizes me, even after I have been exposed to the morning news on the TV and in the papers (remember these old media delivery methods).

I truly enjoy the morning routine of accessing my e-mail messages. I know some complain about their volumes but the spam blocker I use keeps my incoming messages to manageable levels.

I'm privileged to have correspondents around the world in at least 40 countries that, in the course of any given week, will pop up on my monitor. Their news, mostly technology oriented, may be good or bad but it is generally always welcome, giving the early morning a boost.

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When I left my job in materials research and went to work for a company transitioning technology into the manufacturing sector my employers, moonlighting academics, were by necessity afternoon people, as they taught in the mornings. With them meetings never started until after lunch and by mid-afternoon were just getting to the important stuff at a time my creative juices were powering down and I was in plan execution mode. Over time I was able to modify my work habits to those of others. But I still remain a morning parson.

The opportunity to transition technology became the driver in my career. I find it exhilarating, and sometimes frustrating, but overall a very self-satisfying experience.

I mention this as I am deeply involved in three events that are tied to technology transfer. The first is the Symposium for Advanced Laser Applications (SALA) which in April in East Hartford, CT, will expand its emphasis on aerospace applications for laser processing to a broader scope as a source for information on practical laser manufacturing operations, filling a gap in the North American education spectrum. Industrial Laser Solutions is the Exclusive Media Sponsor for SALA (www.ccat.us/sala), whose eventual goal is to be the technology transfer agent for viable industrial laser materials processing applications into industry.

The second is the biennial International Technology Congress AKL (www.ilt.fraunhofer.de) organized by the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology, (ILT) supported by a number of European industrial associations. AKL'10, scheduled for May in Aachen, Germany, is an outgrowth of what started as a strictly German meeting that reported on applied laser technology at ILT and has now morphed into a leading international forum for transitioning research developments into practical experiences with laser production processes. As such it has become a must attend function, and I'll be there speaking at a special Technology Business Day.

The third event is the second convening in June of LASYS, the first exclusive industrial laser systems show. LASYS (www.lasys-messe.de) was conceived as a showplace for all types of industrial laser systems, shown side-by-side at Messe Stuttgart. Show attendees can view a broad range of laser equipment designed to meet the needs of companies as they transition into lean and green manufacturing. Industrial Laser Solutions is an International Media Partner for LASYS, and we will be exhibiting there.

So in a three-month period next Spring representatives of companies repositioning themselves after the recession to participate in an increasingly competitive international market will have an opportunity for education on the industrial laser's role in transitioning advanced materials processing applications into manufacturing operations.

David A. Belforte
[email protected]

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