Every month ILS publishes an Industry Watch e-newsletter, a selection of news that have appeared on the ILS website the previous month. By their very nature, these selections are considered significant by ILS Editors. Thus, selecting the 10 most significant news stories for 2013 is a difficult task.
However, the Editors, when pressed, think that these stories selected below (and listed in chronological order), in one way or another, will have a lasting impact on the industrial laser community. These news items include a large Chinese project; technology updates on laser hybrid welding and USP laser deposition; and developments in the 3D printing, direct diode, and fiber laser markets.
In addition, Dave Belforte's 2013 recap: It wasn't the best or the worst of times
1. DirectPhotonics receives order for its 2kW laser system for laser metal cutting and welding
Berlin, Germany - DirectPhotonics Industries GmbH, a provider of ultra-high brightness direct-diode laser solutions for material processing, has received an order for its 2 kW DirectProcess laser engineered for industrial metal cutting and welding of steel and non-ferrous alloys from a leading German research firm.
2. Wuhan Raycus opens high power fiber laser R&D base
Recently, Wuhan Raycus Fiber Laser Technologies Co. Ltd. was advised that its Laser Engineering R&D Center is now the Hubei Provincial Engineering R&D Center. At the same time, the opening ceremony for the High Power Fiber Lasers R&D Base (Stage I) was held. The project will become the largest R&D and production base for high power fiber lasers in China.
3. Advancing laser manufacturing tools for common apps
Niskayuna, NY - General Electric scientists and engineers are developing next generation laser technologies that are rapidly becoming mainstream on the manufacturing floor. Current and future generations of the manufacturing workforce will be wielding new high-tech laser "tools" that enable them to work faster, more efficiently, and with even higher precision.
4. Report on additive manufacturing and 3D printing says international competition growing
In its annual analysis of additive manufacturing and 3D printing, Wohlers Associates says the US leads with the largest installed base of AM users, however, international competition is rapidly increasing. Revenues from all AM products and services worldwide were $2.2 B in 2012.
5. The rise of 3D printing in China
China will likely surpass the US and lead the global 3D printing market within three years with output rising to 10 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) in that time, the chief executive of the Asian Manufacturing Association tells The Irish Times.
6. NASA 3D printed rocket engine component cuts costs 70%
NASA's Glenn Research Center and Aerojet Rocketdyne have finished testing a rocket engine injector made through laser additive manufacturing (AM) or 3D printing.
7. Technique developed for USP laser deposition onto diamond-like coatings
Finnish coating technology specialist Picodeon has created a technique for depositing diamond-like films onto substrates using ultra-short pulsed laser deposition technology.
8. Laser hybrid welding: Powerful factory floor process
Laser hybrid welding (LHW) is only one of many exciting material processing applications available to the industry right now through knowledgeable laser automation technique specialists.
9. Trumpf buys 72 percent of Chinese tool building company
This majority stake in Jiangsu Jinfangyuan CNC Machine will allow Trumpf to expand its Chinese presence with joint sourcing, while the JFY brand remains independent.
10. JDSU and Amada demo kW fiber laser in sheet metal cutting system at FABTECH
The fiber laser, which provides up to 4 kW of output power, is being demonstrated in Amada's sheet metal cutting system at FABTECH in Chicago this week.
2013: (Image via Shutterstock)
2014: (Image via Shutterstock)