Orlando, FL (PRWEB) October 25, 2013
Expanded exhibit space, new exhibitors and networking opportunities, and more working laser systems took the third annual Lasers for Manufacturing Event® (LME®) to a new level of impact for the laser community.
The Laser Institute of America’s unique event, held Sept. 11-12 at the Schaumburg Convention Center, showed more signs that it is maturing as a must-attend event. Bringing together laser makers, systems integrators and providers of all manner of related equipment and services, LME 2013 gave attendees the know-how they need to get laser-based manufacturing projects up and running.
Once again, the Laser Technology Showcase Theater at the front of the active exhibit hall drew many standing-room-only crowds for industry experts including:
• LIA Past President David Belforte, who noted big opportunities for laser sales and applications, particularly in microprocessing, production of SUVs and composite-heavy narrow-body passenger jets and their engines, gas and wind turbines, smart phones and even agricultural equipment.
• Prabhjot Singh of GE Global Research, who challenged the laser community to meet the growing global need for additive manufacturing productivity, which will require hundreds of new laser-based devices.
• Magnus Bengtsson of Coherent, who addressed ultrafast lasers advances, including cataract surgery with femtosecond lasers and dicing sapphire wafers to make LEDs with picosecond lasers.
• Silke Pflueger of DirectPhotonics, who demonstrated the advantages ultra-high brightness direct diodes bring to the table.
• Jason Hillenbrand of Amada of America, who compared the cost and process differences between fiber and CO2 systems in cutting applications.
LME continues to brilliantly serve its primary function: to bring together those seeking the bottom-line benefits of laser technology face to face with the providers of that technology. Attendees were treated to expert analysis of the full spectrum of available options and considerations — fiber, CO2, ultrafast, macro and micro processing, and more.
They also received updates from nearly 40 exhibitors who presented details of their latest products and services on the exhibit hall stage. For example, Visotek founder and CEO Sheila Jensen discussed the company’s diode-based MetalPass unit, developed in conjunction with the Navy for laser cleaning and cladding corrosion-prone areas in one pass. The company has added five Fraunhofer engineers and will expand its Livonia, MI, facility by 10,000 square feet. And Laserage of Waukegan, IL, detailed the broad range of work it does with an inventory of 70 lasers, including cutting of tubes and coronary stents, forms and plastics.
On the show floor were some newer products, including updated CO2 devices by ALKRAS, which the company touted as costing 50 percent to 80 percent less than other devices, with 50 percent more efficiency and 40 percent to 50 percent more cutting speed and quality than fiber lasers. Meanwhile, Ophir brought its new BeamWatch monitor, which the company says measures very high-power lasers without having to intercept or disrupt the beam. Attendees also saw the compact Tangor ultrafast lasers by Amplitude SystÈmes, which even has a couple of customers doing nanosurgery with its devices.