In early July the first two-day Industrial Laser Applications Symposium (ILAS) of the Association of Industrial Laser Users (AILU) was held at TWI in Cambridge UK, with over 110 delegates attending, including many from outside the UK.

"In the past AILU have organized one day workshops for laser users on specialist subjects. With ILAS 2009 we were aiming to attract beginners as well as experienced laser users and to provide both comprehensive coverage of the main industrial laser application areas, and lots of networking opportunities," said Mike Green, AILU's Executive Secretary.

The event was organized into four half-day sessions covering Lasers and Laser System; Cutting, Drilling and Marking; Joining; and Additive Manufacturing. Micro-processing applications were not included in the Symposium as a one day workshop on this subject has been organized for later in the year.

At the beginning of each session the chairmen gave an introduction to the subject(s) that would be addressed in the session. Laser manufacturers, universities, and research institutes as well as end-users gave presentations.

The delegates from all parts of the laser materials processing community also had the opportunity to visit exhibition stands during the refreshment and lunch breaks, and a tour of TWI was arranged on the first day.

Although the AILU is run by and for the UK laser community, non-UK companies and individuals are welcome to join and make use of the services. The Association provides a magazine, consultancy services, an information website, and monthly newsletter. AILU also runs five special interest groups: Job shops; Market Development (for suppliers of products and services); Micro and nano processing; Medical (for medical product users and suppliers); and Product and Process innovation (for researchers). It currently has over 320 members as well as over 1500 non-members who have registered to use the AILU site and be kept updated with the Association's activities.

Martien van Dijk

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