March 15--The Industrial Laser Group (ILG) has announced a formal membership agreement with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). Over the past year, numerous laser manufacturers and related suppliers had met informally as a group. As the group grew in number and became more prominent within the manufacturing sector, the ILG volunteer leadership decided to seek a formal relationship with an established industry association. After reviewing their options, SME was unanimously selected.
"The group's goal is to channel the energy of competitors to work together in promoting the use of lasers in the manufacturing arena," says Susan Land Sprentall, Optronik sales and marketing manager for Precitec Inc. (New Hudson, MI). "Removing the mysteries of laser processing along with uniting the number of exhibitions and conferences is a task each ILG company initially identified, but concluded working together is more efficient and cost effective. However, to accomplish our goals will take more resources than the volunteer efforts can assemble. By aligning our group with SME we will move this effort exponentially."
The ILG will be represented as the Industrial Laser Community within SME's Technical Community Network. The Technical Community Network provides a flexible framework for meeting the current information needs of manufacturing engineers and their companies. The network consists of eight technical communities that represent key knowledge areas within the manufacturing enterprise. Each community includes a number of highly focused tech groups addressing specific processes, methods, or applications of manufacturing technology. The Industrial Laser Community is expected to include tech groups for medical, welding, marking, and other areas.
"We are excited that the Industrial Laser Group has selected SME and our Technical Community Network as their home," says Nancy Berg, executive director and general manager of SME. "The Industrial laser Community is an ideal platform for sharing technical and marketing knowledge on various laser applications."
By becoming affiliated with SME, ILG is moving closer to fulfilling its mission to "Establish a means to promote laser technology in North America with high intensity by educating the market and advancing the technology base."
"Many manufacturers--across diverse industries--could be better utilizing the breakthroughs in laser technology to achieve superior design and production results," says Walter Haimerl, managing director, TRUMPF Inc., Laser Technology Center (Plymouth Township, MI). "We are merging the Industrial Laser Group with SME to bring large and small laser companies, integrators, OEMs, and suppliers together to advance the use of laser technology in North America."
"Previously, laser companies have lacked a unified voice," continues Haimerl. "With this new Industrial Laser Community, we will be able to effectively update the various manufacturing sectors on the problems that can be economically solved with a laser technology solution."
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