David Belforte to speak on laser market at LME 2013

David Belforte

Orlando, FL - Laser processing expert David Belforte will present another data-packed state-of-the-industry keynote address at the third annual Lasers for Manufacturing Event (LME) on Sept. 11 at the Renaissance Schaumburg (IL) Convention Center Hotel.

Belforte, past president of the Laser Institute of America and editor-in-chief of Industrial Laser Solutions magazine, has been a popular speaker at LIA's unique event. LME 2013 will bring together laser systems providers, systems integrators, and representatives from many industries such as aerospace, automotive, energy, medical, and others that use laser-based manufacturing to maximize production efficiency and profitability. 

Speaking at the Laser Technology Showcase Theater on the exhibit floor, Belforte promises another insightful look into key sectors where lasers are poised to make the greatest gains in his talk: "The Market for Industrial Lasers and Applications."

"At the midpoint of 2013, performance in the industrial laser marketplace was following projections made in January," Belforte says. "Market growth in revenues was in the mid-single digits as global manufacturing continued to feel the restrictions of soft economies. Even the vibrant market in China was not immune from first-half uncertainty as that economy was not exempt from market pressure, and North American and European exports were lower than anticipated."

Even so, "the market appears on track to end up the year on a high note as economies return to normality and fourth quarter orders for first quarter 2014 shipments are expected to build. Leading the market resurgence in the second half of 2013 will be fiber-laser revenues, which will continue to outperform the market overall."

At last year's LME, Belforte predicted significant opportunities for high-powered lasers in applications for everything from multiple automotive components to jet aircraft engines to pipeline welding and downhole drilling.

"In the automotive area, we think of more than brazing the roofs or marking VIN plates," he noted. "We look at the whole range of applications that go in the vehicles. Some of the laser suppliers will show you charts of an automobile that have hundreds of laser applications on them."

Meanwhile, "there are 5,000 narrow-bodied jets planned over the next 20 years to be built here in the United States," he said. "Every one of them has two engines, each with millions of holes drilled in (them). There are 1100 companies in the US involved in the aircraft turbine engine business; many are using industrial lasers." Alternative materials have also provided room for growth. "I never thought we would be cutting composites with lasers, but the fiber laser is doing an interesting application in cutting composites (as) more and more composites are being used in aircraft."

Lasers really shine in the most intricate operations. The smartphone business is "just spectacular," he asserted. The market "seems to have no bounds. If you take apart that smartphone, you'll find lasers being used all over the phone for a variety of applications." Lasers are also vital to producing displays and circuitry for ever-more-popular tablets. In health care, "Stents are getting more and more sophisticated (and) they have to be processed by lasers. Lasers are doing well every year in expanding this market."

Belforte's address is one of four 30-minute keynotes, two 90-minute tutorials and four laser basics courses that make LME a must-attend event for those firmly entrenched in laser-based manufacturing or those who wish to add laser technology to their production lines or jobshops. Located in the cradle of a major US manufacturing hub, LME draws not only local experts but key players from around the world to share their tips for success.

To learn more about LME or to register to attend, visit http://www.laserevent.org.

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