Expanding our international scope

July 19, 2017
Welcome to two new Editorial Advisors who are assisting me in expanding Industrial Laser Solutions' visibility in two developing manufacturing regions -- Brazil and India. 
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Welcome to two new Editorial Advisors who are assisting me in expanding Industrial Laser Solutions' visibility in two developing manufacturing regions—Brazil and India. Dr. Milton Sergio Fernandes de Lima brings a strong background in advanced metal processing, and his extensive writings and teachings on this subject are a valuable reference for manufacturing professionals in South America. Milton ([email protected]) will be the ILS man on the laser-processing scene, working from his base at the Institute for Advanced Studies in San Jose dos Campos, Brazil. This country, in a bit of a holding pattern as it sorts out political and economic upheavals, is like a caged tiger when it comes to laser processing prospects. They have tasted the laser waters and like it, so all that is lacking is economic stability. As the largest manufacturing sector in South America, Brazil seems ready to become a significant industrial laser market.

In another hemisphere and the subcontinent of India, observers of the manufacturing sector have likened it to China at the turn of this century—a massive potential consumer market, rivaling China in numbers, dampened by last-century infrastructure. Anant Deshpande ([email protected]), senior vice president at Laser Science Services in Mumbai, has a 17-year career in laser technology, which places him at the center of market growth that seems ready to burst like a new flower. A case in point is the strong activity in the sheet metal cutting market, as outlined in this issue's feature article on laser prospects in India by Rakesh Agarwal (Laser Technologies), a former colleague of Anant's (see page 20).

Brazil and India seem poised to challenge China for leadership in industrial laser processing technology among the BRIC nations. Each has had successes and has manufacturing bases large enough to sustain significant growth in the near-term. It's mainly a matter of stable political leadership and wise government support of the manufacturing sector. Both can use improvement in infrastructure, especially road networks and electrical power stability. It looks to me that this horizon is within reach.

If you reside in these regions, Milton and Anant are your local contacts for editorial matters such as feature articles on advanced laser processing technology, Web Exclusive articles on unique industrial applications, news items on laser installations and company news, and new products, all at no cost.

This month's cover feature from Martin Hermans (LightFab) introduces a fascinating new manufacturing process, selective laser-induced etching, for micromachining parts for precision mechanics and optics (see page 4). This feature is a great segue into Eric Mottay (Amplitude Systèmes) describing manipulation of the laser beam between the laser output and the workpiece that is expanding applications for ultrafast lasers (see page 11).

At opposite ends of the processing extremes, Nitin Shankar (Synova) from Switzerland explains how the five-axis Laser MicroJet technology can easily machine turbine blades' funnel-shaped coolant diffuser holes faster while offering a high degree of precision (see page 7). And Kenichi Fukami (Honda Engineering) in Japan says minimizing metal waste and die cost when lightweighting auto components is accomplished with a die-less intelligent laser blanking system (see page 18).

Finally, remote laser welding of mild steel with a diode laser/robot system is reported by Jing-bo Wang (Panasonic) as a replacement for conventional resistance spot welding or arc welding of thin sheet material (see page 14).

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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