Follow-up to LME 2014 conference

The Laser Institute of America's LME show in Schaumburg was held last week. While the number of attendees was not high, the quality of leads was very good. The show's timing is a bit off only because of other competing venues like IMTS, MDM Chicago (held during the week of October 13, 2014), and even ICALEO, LIA's own flagship event. It is scheduled to be held at the same place and time next year (September 16-17, 2015), but stay tuned, as changes might be made. In any case, the talks on the floor were very well attended and David Belforte's talk on the State of the Laser Industry was, as usual, very well attended, with standing room only. My talk on Commercially Available USP Lasers also was well received and the follow-up article, including updated tables, will be printed in the November/December issue of ILS. This year, feedback was mixed with some vendors ready to sign up again while others were in more of a waiting mode. This year, the Ask the Expert booth was again located at the Hall entrance and until the afternoon of the second day, it was pretty busy, and it also included a guided tour of the Hall Exhibitors—conducted for new attendees with little or no experience in the laser industry. As with other recent venues, there was a lot of interest in 3D modeling and USP (or if you prefer UFP) lasers.  


Thankfully, most everyone was able to leave Chicago on Thursday—the day before the whole region was shut down by Air Traffic Control for all incoming and outgoing flights—not a happy experience on a Friday afternoon when trying to return home.  For some of our foreign visitors, the highlight of the show was the mad rush to pick up the newest version of the Apple iPhone before returning home—which I guess is OK since there are numerous laser operations in the manufacturing of these phones!   

The next LIA event is occurring from October 19-23, 2014, in San Diego. ICALEO is the flagship event of the LIA and this year, we expect a very robust turnout. If you have an interest in laser technology and in meeting and interacting with well-known industry professionals, this is the place to be. Of particular interest are the plenary sessions on Monday and Thursday, the short courses (I will be teaching one on Laser Micromanufacturing), and the business session—where I also have the privilege of being a panel member.

The following week is the MDM show in Minneapolis. This is the biggest and oldest of the 'regional' shows and is well worth attending, as this area of the Midwest is a hot bed for medical device fabrication—much of which involves the use of lasers. There are also a number of other regional shows during this time period, not to mention shows later in the fall like Fabtech (more on this in an upcoming column). Yes, the Fall Expo circuit is upon us and it would be a pleasure to meet you at one of the upcoming events.

I am always interested in hearing your thoughts concerning laser micromachining, the laser industry, comments on entrepreneurial endeavors, etc. AND … we are always looking for fresh, publishable material. Please feel free to contact me at rschaeffer@photomachining.com.



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