Lausanne, Switzerland-based laser maker Synova announced today that it will open its first micromachining center (MMC) in the US, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Until now, the company's application labs were based at its Switzerland headquarters. Slated to open in January 2007, the Silicon Valley-based MMC will serve as a center for demonstration, sample testing and application development of the company's water jet-guided laser technology. The facility will also offer micromachining services locally. Synova said its Laser MicroJet technology replaces traditional cutting technologies, such as conventional lasers and diamond blade saws, which can't precisely cut ink-jet print head MEMS (microelectromechanical systems), hard disk drives and OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes) without damaging the materials due to their thermomechanical stress sensitivity. Synova also announced it hired Joseph Battaglia to head the MMC and to direct US sales of Laser MicroJet. Most recently, Battaglia was North American field sales and marketing development manager at EFD/Nordson Corp. Prior to that, he held various positions with Speedline Technologies and Cookson Electronics. Synova is exhibiting this week at Semicon West 2006 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, booth T21.