ANALYSIS & OPINION
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Systems on show in Stuttgart

The first-ever trade fair dedicated to laser systems drew in more than 3,700 visitors over three days in early March, with organisers and exhibitors delighted by the response. Lasys, which took place at the Neue Messe Stuttgart from 4-6 March, featured almost 200 exhibitors – exceeding the organiser’s original target of 130 – and filling the 10,000m2 hall with examples of laser material processing systems in action.

Exhibitors ranged from those supplying complete ‘off-the-shelf’ laser-based cutting and marking machinery, to integrators offering bespoke services according to the needs of specific industries, alongside familiar laser suppliers such as Coherent and Newport Spectra Physics.

The driving force behind the event was to showcase the versatility of laser materials processing – and Lasys certainly delivered. From enormous robot-guided systems to self-contained units offering simple scribing functionality, and from delicate marking of sensitive materials to heavy-duty cutting of metals, the true potential of photonics in industry was there for all to see.

The breadth of applications on show included: macro- and micro-material processing; cutting; welding; inscribing; and engraving. Visitors were drawn from many markets, such as automotive manufacturers and component suppliers, the mechanical engineering and construction industry, the metal working and finishing industry, the medical technology industry and the precision engineering industry.

Alongside the main exhibition was an accompanying programme that incorporated the Stuttgart Laser Technology Forum, which was being staged for the fifth time. This year, the focus was on the transfer of knowledge between industry and science. Speakers from either side of the debate discussed topics such as safety, precision micro-material processing, and experiences with modern beam sources, such as fibre and disc lasers.

Lasys is intended to become a biennial event, with the next exhibition planned for 2010.

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