OXFORD and MARLBOROUGH, MA – On June 5, 2018, IPG Photonics welcomed a large group of representatives from regional manufacturing companies, many from the medical device and microelectronics sectors that New England is famous for. Attendance was by invitation, so the many dozens of interested manufacturing professionals shared a common goal—to gain a deeper understanding for the industrial uses of the company’s broad line of fiber laser products.
The Fiber Forum was held at the company’s new Systems facility in Marlborough, MA, in a large, bright room that was set up with seven workstations, where the company conducts visitor and customer fiber laser applications. For this event, attendees were able to actively interact with fiber laser specialists on aluminum wobble welding; stainless steel tube welding; weld monitoring of gear parts; I-beam fabrication; cladding and laser additive manufacturing; laser cleaning and surface preparation; and flatbed cutting. During the all-day Forum, attendees could circulate around the applications lab area and each of the workstation areas were actively engaged at all times.
Seven presentations on fiber laser welding, the main theme of the Forum, by company specialists and customers were scheduled around the demonstrations. From pertinent questions they asked during the opening presentation and subsequent sessions, it was clear to me that attendees came prepped to learn how the company’s versatile fiber lasers might be applicable to their work. Questions were surprisingly detailed on specific applications—unusual with mixed audiences where companies typically do not choose to discuss their product issues. The same held true in the demonstration sessions, where I heard deep discussions on joining problems openly discussed. It made for a very enlightening situation—so much so that the presentation moderator had difficulty getting the attendees to return to the lecture area.
Organizers told me this was the first such Forum, serving as a model for subsequent offerings. I can endorse this educational initiative, especially if future events involve the high level of expertise that IPG Photonics personnel exhibited.