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  • Laser Show Bolsters Industry
Jul 2009
MUNICH, Germany, July 1, 2009 -- Attendees gave Laser World of Photonics 2009, the leading trade show for optical technologies, the best ratings in the event's history, event organizers Messe München reported.

Laser World of Photonics was held June 14-19 at the New Munich Trade Fair Centre, and despite the difficult economic conditions around the world, the number of exhibitors increased from 1008 in 2007, the last time the show was held, to 1040 in 2009 -- a new record.

A shot of the trade show floor in Hall B 1 at Laser World of Photonics 2009 (Photos: Messe Munchen)

As at Photonics West last January, companies stressed the need for innovation and collaboration. Exhibitors showcased numerous innovations and made intensive use of the tremendous synergies between industry and science that the trade show and accompanying World of Photonics Congress had to offer.

The percentage of companies coming from outside Germany rose from 53 percent in 2007 to 57 percent this year, organizers said. In a survey performed by the market research institute tns infratest, the exhibitors gave the event outstanding evaluations with regard to its character as a leading trade show and its leadership role.

The exhibition area was expanded from three halls to four, which brought the total to 42,000 square meters of floor space. This additional space particularly benefited the two largest exhibition segments, “Lasers and Optronics” and “Lasers and Laser Systems for Manufacturing.”

Although overall attendance was down about 10 percent from 2007 (about 24,000 compared to 26,655 in 2007), the final attendance numbers for 2009 slightly exceeded organizers' expectations. A slight drop in the number of attendees from Germany was primarily due to the lower number of attending professionals from the industrial sector, which has been hit particularly hard by the current economic difficulties, organizers said.

While the quantity of attendees may have been down, many companies were expressing satisfaction with the quality of leads they generated.

"The number of contacts was only just slightly below what we experienced the last time this event was held, and we held some very concrete conversations. There was a particularly strong interest in our innovative lasers for photovoltaics manufacturing," said Jens Bleher, managing director of Trumpf Laser und Systemtechnik GmbH.

Among the innovations generating interest on the exhibit floor were: a kilowatt version of Coherent's highly reliable, E-series carbon dioxide lasers called the E-1000, as well as the expansion of its OPSL product platform with the introduction of the Verdi G2 and G5 lasers for the instrumentation and scientific markets; the introduction of Omicron Laserage Laserprodukte GmbH's 488 nm diode laser series BluePhoton 488; energy- and cost-efficient laser beam technologies including multikilowatt applications, finishing, microprocessing and laser marking from Trumpf Laser und Systemtechnik; and new optics for laser material processing, fiber-coupled diode lasers with single emitters, OEM fiber lasers as well as laser systems for industrial applications from the Optical Systems and Lasers & Material Processing divisions of the Jenoptik Group.

There was a strong turnout for the Photonik 2020 talk during the World of Photonics Congress, colocated with Laser World of Photonics 2009.

An optimistic outlook for -- and strong interest in -- biophotonics, photovoltaics and illumination presided at the event.

In addition to the exhibition, these focal point topics were also examined in practically oriented speaker presentations. About 2200 visitors took advantage of the opportunity to use these free application panels to gain information about the latest status of the development work and about current innovations.

"Our application panel on biophotonics was very well attended. It showed the next steps in the medical progress being made in laser-based diagnostics - a field that ranges from the treatment of aids to the diagnosis of diabetes and offers tremendous market potential," said Dr. Matthias Schulze, director of marketing at Coherent.

Laser World of Photonics again served as a meeting place for some of the industry’s top executives. At the CEO Round Table, the CEOs and presidents of Carl Zeiss MicroImaging, Coherent, CVI Melles Griot, Han's Laser Technology Co., Qioptiq SAS and Rofin-Sinar Laser examined the industry’s potential in a panel discussion entitled “Optical Technologies – Bright Hopes in Times of Crisis” (See: CEOs Look for Bright Spots)

This year’s World of Photonics Congress again attracted approximately 3100 delegates from all over the world. The congress was larger, had a stronger international character, and had a sharper focus on practical applications than ever before, organizers said. The seven individual conferences covered the entire spectrum of optical technologies. A new addition was the “Manufacturing of Optical Components” conference, which was organized by the European Optical Society (EOS). The focal point topics emphasized at the trade show were also examined in a number of conferences at the World of Photonics Congress.

Lasers for industrial applications were demonstrated at Laser World of Photonics 2009.

The close interlinking of theory and practice was very well received by trade attendees and exhibitors. Dr. Wilhelm G. Kaenders, president of Toptica Photonics, emphasized, “For us, the congress plays a significant role, because it attracts high-caliber scientists, who also come to the trade show.”

In order to ensure the success of efforts to foster the development of new specialists entering the field, the trade show organizes a variety of activities together with policy makers, associations, and the industry. These activities included programs for elementary school children, who became familiar with the world of optical technologies by performing their own experiments. High school students who are participating in advanced-level physics classes listened to interesting talks that shed light on the career opportunities that the optical technologies offer. At the trade show booths of approximately 30 of the exhibitors, these students spoke with experts about job profiles in the field of optical technologies and about the prospects that the industry can offer.

Laser World of Photonics is also still on a growth path outside of Germany as well. During the trade show, a cooperation agreement was signed with Expocentr Moscow, the organizer of Photonica, the most important Russian trade show for lasers and optoelectronic technologies. As a result, beginning in 2010, Messe München’s subsidiary IMAG, Internationaler Messe- Ausstellungsdienst GmbH, will be co-organizing Photonica Moscow with the goal of continuing to strengthen the show's international character. In this cooperative partnership, IMAG will primarily be responsible for attracting international exhibitors, but it will also participate in the organization of Photonica.

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The general term for the application of light to a subject. It should not be used in place of the specific quantity illuminance.
Pertaining to optics and the phenomena of light.
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