Lasers make it better

Jan. 16, 2018
Looking back at the final pages of the old year, my jottings became heavier with industry happenings as the final days drew to a close. 
New Image 2

A year passes and a new, fresh one appears as I flip my calendar over, with 12 months of blank space under each day except for some commitment appearances. Looking back at the final pages of the old year, my jottings became heavier with industry happenings as the final days drew to a close. Is this an omen for the early days of the new year?

If so, I will be relying again on the valuable services provided by the revamped ILS Editorial Advisory Board. Last year, the Board members supported me in developing the 2018 Editorial Calendar well in advance of its deadline. Individually, they pitched in with editorial contributions of their own, so special thanks go to Ron Schaeffer, Tony Hoult, and new advisor Geoff Shannon.

Bo Gu, Anant Deshpande, and Milton Lima—all new to the Board, along with Geoff—were helpful in many ways, as I called on them frequently. Also, Stan Ream and Kunihiko Washio continued to offer sage advice based on their long association with the technology. These gentlemen volunteer to be ILS Editorial Advisors in addition to the many other demands they receive as very active participants in the industrial laser community, and I am deeply appreciative of their support.

This issue focuses on the economy, as it includes my Annual Economic Review and two articles by aforementioned ILS Editorial Advisors Milton and Anant from the world’s potentially major markets—Brazil and India, respectively.

Anant tapped the leading suppliers to the India market, gaining a valued inside look at a market McKinsey & Company describes as having “a golden opportunity to join the global big leagues.” And yet, it’s a country about which CNN asked, “what happened to Modi’s (the Prime Minister) promise of an economic boom?” This is essentially a conundrum that Anant attempts to unpeel, at least in relation to growth in the industrial laser market (see article).

Milton has a slightly different problem—how to explain his country as a leader in the Southern Hemispheres after it plunged into recession and tries to turn around with expectations of only a 2.2% GDP growth in 2018 from 0.7% growth in 2017 (see article).

In the Annual Economic Review, I show how the industrial laser market runs counter to the situations in these two potential markets by racking up a giant increase in 2017 revenues (see article).

Within the economy theme of this issue is a feature that describes what may be a disruptive factor in 2018 laser revenues—the introduction of an industrial blue laser (440 nm) for welding applications by Jean-Michel Pelaprat (NUBURU; see article). I am intrigued by the sudden industrial interest in this laser. At the recent ICALEO tradeshow, it was a hot topic among advanced laser applications adherents. Later in 2018, we will revisit this technology with a feature on blue laser surface treatment.

Also in this issue, Scott Schmidt (Aerotech) discusses the attempts to address a few of the most common thermal concerns in managing thermal effects in precision scanning systems. He suggests that more work is needed to completely address these concerns (see article).

I wish all readers a happy, healthy, and prosperous year.

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.

Sponsored Recommendations

Request a free Micro 3D Printed sample part

April 11, 2024
The best way to understand the part quality we can achieve is by seeing it first-hand. Request a free 3D printed high-precision sample part.

How to Tune Servo Systems: The Basics

April 10, 2024
Learn how to tune a servo system using frequency-based tools to meet system specifications by watching our webinar!

Motion Scan and Data Collection Methods for Electro-Optic System Testing

April 10, 2024
Learn how different scanning patterns and approaches can be used in measuring an electro-optic sensor performance, by reading our whitepaper here!

How Precision Motion Systems are Shaping the Future of Semiconductor Manufacturing

March 28, 2024
This article highlights the pivotal role precision motion systems play in supporting the latest semiconductor manufacturing trends.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Laser Focus World, create an account today!