Going out of a record year

This is the time of year when many of us look back to assess the good and bad activity of the past 12 months, and how it impacted us individually and as a group.

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This is the time of year when many of us look back to assess the good and bad activity of the past 12 months, and how it impacted us individually and as a group. In the industrial laser sector, I've been doing this since 1986—and over the years I've seen and reported on all the ups and downs of this vibrant industry. But this year was one for the record books. I won't spoil your reading of my Annual Economic Review—which will appear in the January/February issue of ILS—except to say it is summed up in the title: 2017 was a great year.

If you sit in Oxford, MA, Santa Clara, CA, or Ditzingen, Germany, you are smiling as you raise a New Year's toast to a record year for your company—congratulations.

I'm not intentionally neglecting many other laser-related companies around the world who also are celebrating a very good 2017—you too have my admiration. But it's the big three that drove the market to a strong double-digit growth, carrying others along with it.

ILS, mirroring the industry, also had a very good year, thanks to our very active Editorial Advisory Board—a group that benefited from new members that brought fresh ideas and added insights into potentially big laser markets in the near future. So, a very special thanks and best wishes for the New Year to: Tony Hoult, Bo Gu, Geoff Shannon, Stan Ream, Ron Schaeffer, Milton Lima, Kunihiko Washio, and Anant Deshpande.

I rely heavily on a great publishing team led by Associate Editor Lee Dubay, who is the glue that holds ILS together supported by Meg Fuschetti, Chris Hipp, and Shelia Ward. Thank you all for a superb job in 2017.

Looking ahead, ILS will offer a powerful lineup of contributed feature articles, starting with the January/February issue that, in addition to the Annual Economic Review, introduces the first blue laser for industrial welding applications. It will also feature two must-read, insightful articles on the developing industrial laser markets in India and Brazil.

As 2017 draws to a close, I wish all a very happy and prosperous New Year.

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