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MD&M West: Optics Draws a Crowd

Photonics.com
Feb 2010
Gary Boas

Feb. 16, 2010 — The Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M West) trade show held in Anaheim last week featured some 2000 exhibitors and was co-located with six industry-related shows, so navigating the floor might have been a harrowing experience. For me, anyway – my sense of direction is shockingly bad. Fortunately, the handful of pavilions at the show collected many of the optics and photonics companies exhibiting there.

The PrecisionTec Pavilion spotlighted technologies used for the design, development and manufacture of precision-engineered medical devices. It brought together a number of companies showing laser cutting and welding technologies, for example. The Quality Pavilion featured a range of testing and inspection products and services, and included a handful of companies showing optical and laser inspection equipment.

The most optics-intensive area was surely the LaserTec Pavilion, which showcased companies using lasers for a range of applications. Exhibitors in this area included LPKF laser & Electronics, which offers laser plastic welding systems among other products; Fiso Technologies, a developer and manufacturer of fiber optics pressure, temperature and strain sensors; Lumics, which was showing a variety of devices for optical systems; and a host of others.
 
I saw healthy crowds on Tuesday, the first day of the show. The rain that afternoon may have kept people away, though: When I returned on Wednesday morning the LaserTec Pavilion was spilling over with people.

Two booths, in particular, proved to be crowd pleasers. BigC of Torrance, Calif., was demonstrating its Dino-Lite family of digital microscopes with up to 500x magnification. The gentleman with whom I spoke described various dermatological and dental applications as he rolled the hand-held device across his forearm, the way-larger-than-life images of his skin appearing on one of the screens behind him.

A few booths down, Z-Tech Advanced Technologies of Ontario, Calif. – which manufactures laser welding and marking systems, for repair and assembly of surgical tools, for instance – was demonstrating one of its systems. This attracted a bit of a crowd as well – in part, I imagine, because of the '80s videogame sound effects (from Asteroids, if I’m not mistaken) rattling the hall whenever they fired the laser.


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