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LIA Workshop Attendance Up 50%

Photonics.com
May 2010
ORLANDO, Fla., May 27, 2010 — The Laser Institute of America’s (LIA) second annual Laser Additive Manufacturing Workshop in Houston drew 50 percent more attendees as well as more sponsors and vendors than the debut show of 2009.

The May 11-12 conference gathered 137 attendees from 11 countries and 22 vendors to hear carefully selected presentations about cutting-edge techniques for the aerospace, automotive, oil and gas, and other industries.

“We were very pleased with the second LAM workshop,” said Peter Baker, LIA executive director. The conference “emphasizes LIA’s commitment to providing end users and manufacturers with the practical knowledge and information they need to use lasers productively and profitably. Keynote speaker Bill Steen of the University of Liverpool commented that it was well organized with an extraordinary level of friendliness of the participants who were really interested in progressing their business.”

Lasers’ precision and low heat mean a world of possibilities and efficiencies for additive manufacturing, and LIA assured attendees the show would “have a significant impact on the widespread industrial implementations.” LAM is increasingly popular as a cost-effective way to repair expensive machinery and parts and reduce manufacturing downtime.

The success of the LAM workshop was evident to Paul Denney, general chair of the conference and director of the laser applications lab at the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology in East Hartford. He noted the attendance of several major firms, including representatives from Caterpillar’s remanufacturing group, GE Global Research and GE Aviation, and Pratt and Whitney. “Those are the big guys who are interested in the technology, and if they accept it, they’ll drive not only what they do at their own facilities but drive what goes on at their suppliers,” he said.

Also well represented were smaller “job shop-type” companies like Hayden Corp. of West Springfield, Mass.; Joining Technologies of East Granby, Conn.; and Titanova Inc. of St. Louis. “You’ve got all these people that are now doing this as a service,” Denney added.

Denney and others are already thinking of ways to expand next year’s conference. “We’d really like to push to get more discussion and interaction with people who are doing (laser-additive manufacturing),” he said. “A lot of people want to hear stories from other people; they’d like the end users to talk about how they’re using the technology. We’ve got to bridge over to other organizations and communities that don’t use lasers that readily and get them to come to the workshop.” Some other attendees and planners mentioned they’d like to see webcasts, more technology service providers and perhaps a third day added to the schedule.

“Year two was a success thanks to sponsorship support from laser industry leading companies like Alabama Laser (Platinum Sponsor), Coherent Inc., Fraunhofer USA, Huffman Corp., Innovative Laser Technologies Inc., IPG Photonics Corp., Joining Technologies Inc., Laserline Inc., Tribocor Technologies Inc. and Trumpf Inc.,” said Jim Naugle, LIA marketing director. “I can’t thank these companies enough; we will continue to build on the foundation we have in 2011.”

For more information, visit: www.laserinstitute.org 




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