All the world’s a stage

March 1, 2008
Growing and enhancing the ILS group of publications to better serve readers around the world.

As you read this, we will have introduced the newest member of the ILS Global Franchise, Industrial Laser Europe (ILE), at the inaugural convening of LASYS in Stuttgart, Germany. ILE is the fourth in the line of ILS publications, joining ILS, ILS-Japan, and ILS-China. Setting ILE apart from the other magazines is that it will publish mostly new editorial generated by its highly regarded editor-in-chief Franz Gruber. ILS-Japan and ILS-China have chosen to serve their readers by bringing them information from the international scene via articles that appear in ILS, in addition to some local content.

The mission of all four magazines is the dissemination of information about industrial laser materials processing for manufacturing operations. In short, these publications are end-user oriented, bringing readers the latest in advanced and applied laser processing that is directed to improving the productivity and profitability of the users. This is why readers in China request information and examples of how industrial lasers are used in other countries. In Japan, a nation where industrial lasers are well known, readers are seeking information on how to improve their existing laser processes. And in Germany, perhaps the most established of industrial laser markets and home to many laser materials-processing research organizations and university laboratories, readers are interested in the global acceptance of laser processing.

Here at ILS we offer print and digital versions of the magazine, e-newsletters, and our newly redesigned and very popular Website to bring, in English, industrial laser materials processing information to readers in 133 countries. We often marvel that ILS is read faithfully in, among other countries, Uzbekistan, Qatar, Zimbabwe, and even Papua New Guinea.

For the record, ILS Global Franchise readers break out as 42% in North America, 34% in Asia, 20% in Europe (of which 50% are in Germany), and 4% in that ubiquitous Rest of the World category. The latter is where you will find Australia, Brazil, and one of my favorites, Fiji.

I often picture a Nepalese on Mount Everest reading the latest digital version of ILS while fighting off frostbite, or a banana farmer in tropical Nicaragua who thinks that laser marking may be a marketing advantage, or a coconut-plantation owner in Western Samoa who pictures laser drilling of coconuts as a labor-saving operation. Laugh if you will, but many years ago, before ILS went global, while touring a macadamia-nut-processing factory on the Hawaiian island of Maui, my wife asked why lasers couldn’t replace the multi-ton pressure rollers that were cracking the nut shells. Sure enough, not too long after, a patent was issued for this process. It might have been sooner had this magazine been read there. ILS now counts a generous handful of readers there.

So the next time you pick up one of the ILS Global Franchise publications or access them online and read about floor-tile abrasion in Japan, jean engraving in China, beer-glass roughening in Germany, or brick engraving in Missouri, you’ll better appreciate what we are all about.

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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