As the first issue of the 35th year of Industrial Laser Solutions (ILS) deployed this week, I celebrated the occasion by recalling the 1262 authors who contributed articles (411 sent us more than one feature over the years) since the first issue. These names include many who can rightly claim to be the primary innovators, developers, and practitioners of industrial laser materials processing applications that have helped move the technology into innumerable production facilities around the globe.
Space prevents me from listing this honor roll of contributing authors, so a huge thank-you is offered for generously sharing your work with ILS readers, who are manufacturing professionals in more than 150 countries. Today, we live in an atmosphere where intellectual property (IP) rights has become a political issue pitting more than company vs. company—it's now country against country, trickling down to the publishing community where editors are increasingly challenged to find contributions from some of the leading industry companies. Don’t misunderstand—I respect the reason for, and legalities of, IP. I just have concern when it is not recognized geopolitically and sometimes used as a bargaining tool.
Fortunately, ILS has not currently been dramatically affected, as a glance at the lineup of contributing authors committed for each issue in 2020 attests. However, very few laser equipment makers and users' companies have recently declined my invitation to participate, citing concerns with sharing information with competitors. In some instances they have a good case for this, but when the subject matter has already been presented publically at some industry event, it seems a little like “locking the barn door after the horse has been stolen.”
Enough sermonizing, as this blog is recognition of the more than 1200 contributors that have assisted ILS in our mission to advance the technology of industrial laser material processing. Since ILS' founding in 1986, global industrial laser systems revenues have grown at a 10.63% CAGR. I have anecdotal evidence our contributors had a part in this—thank you.