FABTECH 2017 heads to the Windy City

Nov. 8, 2017
This issue of ILS is receiving broader distribution at FABTECH, North America's preeminent show on metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing. 
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Astute readers of Industrial Laser Solutions will have noticed that two new Editorial Advisors, Dr. Geoff Shannon and Dr. Bo Gu, are bringing their years of experience in industrial laser materials processing to assist me in continuing to publish current and pertinent information.

Geoff Shannon is a widely published, authoritative contributor to the technology, having been involved with industrial laser applications and product development for cutting, welding, marking, and micromachining for many years. He was awarded a PhD in laser welding from the University of Liverpool, where he was one of that renowned group of laser applications candidates turned out by the legendary Professor Bill Steen. Geoff is now the manager of advanced technology at Amada Miyachi America.

Bo Gu is the ubiquitous advocate for industrial laser material processing, having been seen in many countries—but mainly China, where he spends a good deal of his time promoting this technology. In three decades of professional experience, he has been awarded 57 patents and has 60 more applications pending. He has authored more than 100 publications and presentations on lasers and other photonics fields. He has developed and designed 31 lasers and laser systems as commercial products for industrial markets. He has a doctorate in quantum optoelectronics and a MA in physics from the University of Southern California, and a M.Sc from the California Institute of Technology. He is currently the founder and CTO of Bos Photonics.

This issue of ILS is receiving broader distribution at FABTECH, North America's preeminent show on metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing. This show, held this year in Chicago, IL, features the largest display of industrial laser technology on this continent, highlighted by a more than two-dozen fiber laser sheet metal cutting systems. In support of this display of competitive laser cutting systems, ILS has selected three feature articles on fiber laser cutting.

Jason Hillenbrand (Amada America) describes how automated systems run thin-to-thick material while optimizing the laser beam mode to get the best edge quality and speed, with no operator intervention, while handling the loss of green light on time and overall productivity (see article).

SPI Lasers has developed a novel sensor within the laser that looks at back-reflected light from the workpiece, providing a signal that accurately indicates when pierce-through is achieved. Mark Richmond (SPI Lasers) says this can be used to eliminate fixed pierce times, yielding significant time savings (see article).

UK-based Crown Manufacturing runs a successful metal processing business. Dan Whitaker (Bystronic) explains how this company is an enthusiastic fiber laser user for an unusual interlinked series of activities, working in wood, paints, scooters, and restored vehicles from the Second World War (see article).

Aforementioned ILS Editorial Advisor Geoff Shannon (Amada Miyachi America) suggests why pulse width, pulse energy and frequency, and wavelength are the key parameters when processing polymers used in medical devices with ultrashort-pulse lasers (see article).

Welding is not ignored in this issue. In our cover story, Wouter Zweers (AWL-Techniek) writes about the challenge that laser welding systems builders face to adjust a quality monitoring system that it is as reliable as possible, while also designing a good error-handling strategy (see article). Rich Martukanitz and Isarel Stol (Penn State University) describe the laser stir welding process and the benefits it provides, and give examples of its application in industry (see article).

About the Author

David Belforte | Contributing Editor

David Belforte (1932-2023) was an internationally recognized authority on industrial laser materials processing and had been actively involved in this technology for more than 50 years. His consulting business, Belforte Associates, served clients interested in advanced manufacturing applications. David held degrees in Chemistry and Production Technology from Northeastern University (Boston, MA). As a researcher, he conducted basic studies in material synthesis for high-temperature applications and held increasingly important positions with companies involved with high-technology materials processing. He co-founded a company that introduced several firsts in advanced welding technology and equipment. David's career in lasers started with the commercialization of the first industrial solid-state laser and a compact CO2 laser for sheet-metal cutting. For several years, he led the development of very high power CO2 lasers for welding and surface treating applications. In addition to consulting, David was the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Industrial Laser Solutions magazine (1986-2022) and contributed to other laser publications, including Laser Focus World. He retired from Laser Focus World in late June 2022.

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