Follow-up to MDM Minneapolis 2016

The MDM Minneapolis show was busy as usual for the full two days and featured a number of laser-oriented companies.

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In 2015, I reported the following in a follow-up to the MDM Minneapolis show: "From the perspective of laser processing, and especially laser microprocessing, the big news was the acquisition of Mound Laser Processing by Resonetics. This is happening almost simultaneously with their opening of a location in San Diego, so now they have effectively covered the country."

Resonetics is again in the news with a new 9000-sq-ft. facility opening in Plymouth, MN. Indeed, they stole some of the thunder from local systems integrator Innovative Laser Technologies (ILT) by having their open house on the same night as the traditional ILT open house. According to their press release, the new facility will include a number of different work stations for manufacturing life science-related products in metal, polymer, and glass substrates. Resonetics now has facilities in Nashua, NH; San Diego, CA; Plymouth, MN; Dayton, OH; and Costa Rica.

The show itself was busy as usual for the full two days and featured a number of laser-oriented companies. Some of these companies, like TRUMPF and FOBA, can be found at many different venues. Others are less familiar, like Laser Light Technologies, but are becoming more visible in the industry. Indeed, this is a hot geographical area and a number of attendees could be found from companies like Medtronic, Boston Scientific, St. Jude Medical, and 3M.

The Resonetics expansion is driving is some thoughts of consolidation. I talked to several traditional job shops that are thinking of getting into the systems business, as well as to a few systems integrators who are considering jumping into the job shop space. One thing is sure—laser micromachining for the medical industry seems to be growing at a pace of about 20–30% per year, and it is this demographic that is exciting everyone.

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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