ANALYSIS & OPINION
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Exhibition to put industrial lasers in the spotlight

‘More light,’ were the dying words of German poet/novelist/philosopher/scientist/ general polymath Goethe. With the German Ministry of Education and Research predicting an increase in the photonics market from 210 billion euros to 440 billion euros over the next 10 years, these words provided a fitting conclusion to the press launch of the Laser 2007: World of Photonics conference.

The exhibition, to be held on 18–21 June at Messe München in Munich, is set to cover even more floor space than the 33,000 metres squared of Laser 2005, which received 23,310 visitors. The largest growth is arguably in industrial usage, something Laser 2007 is set to represent with this year’s theme of ‘Light at Work’.

Roughly 280 exhibitors will be showing how laser systems are used in industrial applications. One of the key features will be the ‘Bright Light – Smart Systems’ show, where specialists from the Universities of Munich and Erlangen-Nuremberg, and the Bavarian Laser Centre of Erlangen will be showcasing intelligent laser solutions in demanding situations on all four days of the trade show.

Demonstrations will include a miniature production line that will display all parts of the industrial process in high detail. In addition, visitors will be able to view laser beam welding, and laser processes in automotive manufacturing. The demos will be accompanied by a lecture forum to discuss the background of these developments.

The World of Photonics Congress, running in parallel with Laser, will also focus on two new areas: biophotonics and fibre lasers. This year, the congress will be integrated with the European Conference on Biomedical Optics, providing an interface between users and scientists. Among its topics, it will study how disease patterns can be understood through optical technologies.

The congress is a collaboration between leading organisations in the photonics world, including the Optical Society of America, the European Physical Society, the International Society for Optical Engineering and the German Society for Laser Medicine.

As part of the congress, workshops will also be given by Trumpf on medical device manufacturing, and by Toptica Photonics on the use of lasers in microscopy. In addition the Third International Fibre Laser Workshop will be part of the congress for the first time, again with an emphasis on heavy usage, covering topics such as remote processing, cutting and welding, and industrial high-power fibre lasers.

Other events to return from previous years will include the Light Insights series of talks on the European Research and Innovation Policy, private R&D investments, and on the next generation of specialists. This year there will be a greater emphasis on bringing optical technology to a broader public, with the aim of bringing the industry to the attention of students.

As always, more than 1,000 exhibitors will be showcasing their latest products. As a taster of what is to come, companies will be showcasing the latest in high-power diode lasers, aspherical optics and galvanometer systems. In addition, for the first time at the Laser exhibition, Laser Components will be holding their own workshops on how to adopt, optimise and find the best laser source.

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