GE Global Research of Niskayuna, N.Y., has unveiled a 20-kW high-power hybrid laser arc welding (HLAW) system, one of the largest in North America. The system wields enough power to weld steel nearly 1 in. thick in a single pass, in contrast to the nearly half-dozen passes required with current welding technologies. HLAW is expected to dramatically increase the speed at which industrial products are manufactured. GE is exploring this technology for applications across its infrastructure manufacturing operations, including the oil and gas, power generation, aviation and rail industries. The portability of the laser platform is expected to enable welding on-site, thus reducing shipping costs.