Around 500 newcomers and experts from the industrial and scientific sectors flocked to Aachen, Germany, for the International Laser Technology Congress – AKL '08, held from May 7-9. As the organizer, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT) in Aachen noted there was an over 20% increase in the number of visitors over the previous congress, the AKL '06.
The 57 lectures ranged from introductory and practical work-based presentations, to a newcomer seminar, accompanied by presentations from experts on new sources of laser beams and applications, such as polishing with lasers, and extending to reports on joint projects in the EU innovation forum "Laser Material Processing in Aeronautics," which was accompanied by live presentations. The technology-business day took an expert look at the laser markets in Europe, the USA, Japan, and China and was geared towards managers and executives, among others.
The 80 live presentations at the Fraunhofer Institute and at the companies in the laser application center included new options in the design of dashboards using laser-structured tools, innovative components for turbines that make use of laser deposition welding in new repair processes, and new concepts for eyeglasses provided by laser joining of plastics and metals.
Users had opportunity to exchange information in depth with laser, component, and system manufacturers at the popular sponsor exhibition. A total of 39 companies were prepared to answer the questions of experienced laser users and those new to the technology.