Industrial Laser Solutions' Belforte will return to LME to discuss the ever-growing laser market

Orlando, FL -  Laser Institute of America (LIA) past president and laser-market expert David Belforte will again provide a comprehensive and highly insightful keynote address at the LIA's fourth annual Lasers for Manufacturing Event (LME) on September 23, 2014, in Schaumburg, IL.

Related: LME 2014: A focused laser event like no other

Belforte's address will spotlight the 2014 market for industrial lasers and applications. His past talks have drawn standing-room-only crowds to the Laser Technology Showcase theater on the LME exhibit floor. His past addresses have covered the use of lasers for everything from energy generation and electronic devices to agricultural equipment to aviation, aerospace, automotive, and medical applications.  

His data-packed presentations draw an immediate connection between the equipment displayed in the LME exhibit hall and the real-world applications of those devices and systems to maximize efficiency and profitability for makers of a broad array of parts and products. Belforte provides a global overview of the markets for various industries and the roles of different types of lasers in those industries.    

Attendees at LME 2014 will learn not only how major laser makers are performing around the world, but also how even the smallest job shops can use those lasers to increase output for their clients.   

"If you want to be in the laser business today and you want to know where the application activity is," Belforte said at LME 2013, his meticulously compiled data provides the perfect starting point.

Last year, Belforte had forecast significant growth in microprocessing applications in his state-of-the-markets address. As he has in previous presentations, Belforte will revisit his recent predictions and update his audience on current performance and projections.

"North American manufacturers are continuing to beat the odds," he said last September. "Even the fiscal restraints in the United States have not slowed growth. Exports to China were offset by slower European market growth a bit, but even so it was a good year and looks like it's going to finish up a good year for exports."    

The metal processing sector uses more than $1.5 billion worth of industrial lasers, he says, "overwhelming the other sectors of marking, engraving, and microprocessing." But, with double-digit growth, "microprocessing looks to be the market which is really going to drive this business in terms of ultrafast pulsed lasers, both solid-state and fiber, and other lasers used for semiconductor, solar cell, and flat-panel display work. Overwhelmingly, it's printed circuit boards and hybrids that consume most of the lasers that were used in microprocessing."        

Fiber lasers have had a significant impact, Belforte noted at LME 2013. "The industrial laser technology forecast has been looking pretty good since we came out of the recession in 2008," he said, thanks to fiber lasers. "Because of the second-quarter performance of IPG Photonics—26 percent revenue growth in the industrial laser market—it raised the entire industrial laser market by 2 percent."

Furthermore, fiber laser revenue grew 17 percent in 2012 and is projected to hit 21 percent this year, "which will lift the entire industry to about six percent growth for this year."    

While the usual areas showed robust growth recently—from the jet engine turbine blades that require millions of laser-drilled cooling holes to the displays of smart devices—a particular surprise last year was agriculture. "The industry is booming again," he said, with $27 billion in equipment produced in the US by 1000 companies using lasers to weld, cut, and additively repair components.

Belforte's keynote address will be one of four at LME 2014, along with basic courses on types of lasers, laser manufacturing systems and how to use them profitably, and laser safety. The conference will also feature tutorials on design for welding and an overview of laser additive manufacturing systems.  

To find out how various laser market sectors have fared since Belforte's 2013 keynote, register for LME 2014 by visiting http://www.laserevent.org.



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