Laser maker Coherent celebrates its golden anniversary

Congratulations to Coherent (Santa Clara, CA), as this year marks the 50th anniversary of its founding. Started by Jim Hobart and five others in a Palo Alto, CA, laundry room, the company went on to become a world leader in laser technology.

In celebration of the company’s 25th anniversary, writing in a 1991 profile in Industrial Laser Review (now Industrial Laser Solutions), we cited their “reputation in laser processing applications such as garment cutting, ceramic scribing, die-board cutting, and cigarette paper perforating, which had made them the premier supplier of low- to medium-power CO2 lasers and systems.” And we went on to say, “The company occupies a dominant position among the world’s suppliers of CO2 lasers, with more than 2500 units installed.”


That was then, and this is now. CEO John Ambroseo says, “Over our company’s 50-year history, we’ve seen the laser mature from a ‘solution in search of a problem’ to a widely used tool, employed in areas as diverse as microelectronics fabrication, biomedicine, scientific research, and heavy industry. Across all these disciplines, there is a common drive to increase productivity and the quality of results, while simultaneously enabling even more technological advances.”

“I attribute a large part of Coherent’s success to our ability to deliver a broad array of laser technologies in highly optimized, applications-specific formats. By optimized, I’m referring to the performance, reliability, and cost-of-ownership characteristics necessary to make them practical, cost-effective tools for use in both production and research environments. This focus on delivering superior performance and reliability has made us a technology leader, and kept us at the forefront of our markets. It’s a remarkable achievement and a lasting testament to the creativity and dedication of our employees, as well as the loyalty of our valued customers across the globe. That said, I am certain that our best years are still ahead of us.”  



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