Summer 2018 update

July 25, 2018
Winter changes to spring, spring changes to summer, summer changes to fall … life goes on and things evolve!
Ron Head Shot Lia 2018 Best

Winter changes to spring, spring changes to summer, summer changes to fall … life goes on and things evolve! This seems like a good venue to announce for the first time (publicly) that as of January 1, 2018, I sold my shares in PhotoMachining to my former business partners and I no longer am an owner nor am I CEO of PhotoMachining, although I will still be a consultant for a few years. In addition to saving time on the long drive, this will allow me to explore other opportunities within (and external to) the laser industry. I am NOT leaving the laser industry—just taking a bit of a different direction. I am involved in the following upcoming events:

1. I will be giving a webcast on fiber lasers on August 9, 2018—there is still time to register here:

This webcast, titled "Fiber Lasers Drive the Laser Market," will review the current state of the industry with respect to available laser sources, and will feature a few interesting applications. In just 20 years, fiber lasers have taken over the lion's share of the industrial laser market. In fact, their dominance is so great that it can almost be said that as the fiber laser market goes, so goes the laser market. Fiber lasers are available from a large number of manufacturers worldwide. In the low-power regime, the field is crowded and margins are not what they were a few years ago, but the volumes are staggeringly high. In the high-power regime there are, at present, many fewer competitors and margins remain high, especially as you go higher in power. With new players entering the field at a rapid pace—many in China—there are now almost endless options when looking to purchase or use a fiber laser manufacturing tool. This webcast will give a brief history of the fiber laser, where these lasers are really suited for manufacturing (and where they are not!), and what companies are offering as commercial product lines.

2. I will also be giving a presentation at this year's IMTS show in Chicago during the week of September 9th. The Laser Institute of America is co-sponsoring a symposium on lasers in manufacturing on Wednesday, September 12th. Details and registration information can be found here:

For the first time in many years, I decided to miss SEMICON West, which was held in San Francisco a few weeks ago. I may miss a few conferences that I would have gone to in the past, but I also plan to hit a few that I have not hit in the past—so the upcoming year should be interesting to say the least.

Finally, I want to wish David and Virginia Belforte a very Happy Wedding Anniversary—I am happy to say that Dave and I (and maybe a few others?) will be playing as the Beer's Law Band at the party to be held next weekend.

I wish everyone a great summer and I hope to see many of you during upcoming fall conferences.

I am always interested in hearing your thoughts concerning laser micromachining, the laser industry, comments on entrepreneurial endeavors, etc. AND … we are always looking for fresh, publishable material. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected].

About the Author

Ron Schaeffer, PhD | Editorial Advisory Board Member (laser micromachining)

Ron Schaeffer, PhD, is a blogger and contributing editor for Industrial Laser Solutions, and member of the Editorial Advisory Board. His book, Fundamentals of Laser Micromachining, is available from CRC Press.

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