Laser Industry Report

The 2006 annual Lasers and Photonics Marketplace Seminar will be held Jan. 23, 2006, in conjunction with the Photonics West Conference in San Jose, CA.

Seminar features fiber lasers

The 2006 annual Lasers and Photonics Marketplace Seminar will be held Jan. 23, 2006, in conjunction with the Photonics West Conference in San Jose, CA. The seminar, sponsored by Laser Focus World, is the only event that focuses on the entire laser marketplace and presents quantitative data with analysis of market trends segmented both by applications and laser technology.

Among the presenters, David Belforte, publisher and editor in chief of Industrial Laser Solutions, will reveal that industrial laser consumption in all of the major producing and using nations has exceeded 2004 forecasts and expectations are that growth for 2005 could be about 2% higher than previously anticipated. In the afternoon, a special Fiber Laser Markets Forum will feature presentations by executives at Nufern (East Granby, CT), SPI Lasers (Southampton, England), and IPG Photonics (Oxford, MA). For more information, go to

Trumpf success grows

After record sales of $1.7 billion last year, machine tool manufacturer and laser specialist Trumpf (Ditzingen, Germany) is expecting sales increases for the 2005/06 fiscal year to be about 8%, according to the company’s management board. Much of the success can be attributed to Berthold Leibinger, who has led the company for 40 years but will resign from his position as president of the Trumpf group in mid-November. He will be succeeded by his oldest daughter, Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller.

Trumpf is also gearing up to expand its presence in North America, with plans to build a new laser research, development, manufacturing, and demonstration facility in Farmington, CT.

Optek partners with Lednium

Optek Technology (Carrollton, TX) has signed a research and development, manufacturing, and marketing relationship agreement with Lednium, an Australian-based LED technology company.

Under terms of the agreement, Optek will develop a series of solid-state lighting products using the Lednium packaging technology. Designated the Optek Lednium Series, the new product line will include single-chip discrete LED lighting units as well as multichip geodesic-dome-shaped LED assemblies.

Coherent sees record orders

Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) announced financial results for its fourth fiscal quarter ended Oct. 1 with net sales of $133.8 million. Orders totalled $164.0 million, a 24% increase over the same prior-year period. “Bookings are the story for the fourth quarter,” said John Ambroseo, president and CEO. “The influx of new orders was impressive due to the product and market breadth as well as geographic participation. It is also gratifying that investments we have made, particularly in the microelectronics, medical OEM and graphic arts markets, are paying off so handsomely.”

In related news, Coherent signed a definitive purchase agreement to acquire the assets of privately held Iolon (San Jose, CA) in an all-cash transaction of approximately $5 million. Iolon manufactured optical components including widely tunable lasers and filters. Coherent plans to use the acquired technology for products in the instrumentation and display markets.

European initiative targets thin-disk lasers

A group of European research institutions and companies has launched an initiative aimed at technologies around semiconductor thin-disk lasers, also known as optically pumped semiconductor vertical external-cavity surface-emitting lasers (OPS-VECSELS). Known as NATAL (Nano-Photonics Materials and Technologies for Multicolor High-Power Sources), the project is supported by the European Commission under its Sixth Framework Program. The total budget is about $4.6 million (€3.8 million) over three-years.

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Also in the news . . .

Raytheon was awarded a $45.5 million contract for the fiscal year 2005 procurement of Paveway II laser-guided bomb kits for the U.S. Air Force. . . . Sherwood Technology (Cheshire, England), developer of laser marking technologies for edible products, is opening a new Eastern U.S. headquarters to support customers and partners in North America. . . . JMAR Technologies (Carlsbad, CA) was awarded a Phase I SBIR Grant from the U.S. Army to support research leading to the development of a compact laser for hazard analysis using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy. . . . IMM Meßtechnologie (Unterschleißheim, Germany), supplier of laser diodes and fiberoptic components, appointed Electro Optical Components (Santa Rosa, CA) as its exclusive distributor for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. . . . NovaWave Technologies (Redwood Shores, CA) secured two Department of Energy SBIR Phase II Research Grants with a total value of $1.5 million to develop mid-IR gas sensors based on their IR laser technology. . . . Semiconductor laser manufacturer nLight (Vancouver, WA) was ranked number seven on the 2005 Deloitte Technology Fast 500, a ranking of the 500 fastest-growing technology companies in North America.

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