Since we last reported to you, a little more than a year ago, Photonics Cluster (UK) has had a remarkably successful period of growth. We have seen a meteoric rise in membership levels, and our events programme has been expanded and extremely well attended.
The laser industry today is at a crossroads in its history, and has an opportunity for a period of rapid growth, founded on the adoption of manufacturing and design standards and best practices applied to the core technologies driving a new generation of laser systems. At JDSU, we have described this new industry paradigm as a transition from 'design excellence' as the sole source of competitive advantage to integrating 'process excellence' into any new business model.
Unless they are very rich, the only thing most people will know about the Isle of Man is that it hosts the annual TT motorbike races. If they are rich, they will know it is also a tax haven. Few will suspect that this peaceful, lush outcrop, halfway between the north west coast of England and Northern Ireland, is also a leading centre for the production of high quality laser optics. It has become the European beachhead for the recent expansion of the CVI Laser Optics catalogue.
In many ways the spectrometry field is a mature market - the principles involved (measuring the specific frequencies of light absorbed or emitted by a sample to determine its physical or chemical make up) have been known for almost a century. However, until recently the practice of spectrometry was largely lab-based. The equipment used was delicate and bulky, meaning any substance to be sampled had to be taken to the lab. This process could be both costly and time consuming.
Talk to anyone in the industry at the moment about the latest advances in illumination and there is one topic that comes up again and again; the high brightness LED.