At an executive roundtable held in October in conjunction with Photonex 2013, UK industry executives spoke frankly about how best to catch up to leading nations, with discussion focusing on the different success models that distinguish the frontrunners. Among other conclusions drawn by those on the panel was that, to take advantage of current opportunities and to grow, the UK industry must connect with the markets it enables. EuroPhotonics’ Managing Editor Laura Marshall attended the executive roundtable and the Photonex event, and her report can be found on page 10 as well as in a recent segment of our Light Matters newscast, found at www.Photonics.com.
In our cover story, “Tough Times Call for European PV Manufacturing to Step Up,” Contributing Editor Marie Freebody reviews the recent history of the European solar industry and its work to realize global leadership, as well as the recent challenges triggered, some say, by oversupply and pricing improprieties. The way forward may in part lie in further strengthening already-robust European technological leadership through collaboration on new production techniques. Read the feature, beginning on page 18.
In another feature in this issue, freelance journalist Dr. Barbara Stumpp reminds us that the only way to achieve the full benefits of laser production is to make sure the beam hits exactly where it is needed. That is no small feat in a facility where a plethora of machinery is in every direction in which one turns. Piezoactuator-based beam stabilization brings precision, reproducibility and fast control to beam positioning in such environments. Read more in “For Lasers, No Vibrations Allowed,” beginning on page 23.
In the third feature in this issue, Jörg Latzel of Yokogawa Europe tells us that when highly accurate wavelength measurements are needed, it is essential to have long-term stability and calibration in the measuring instrument. Looking at accuracy alone gives only half the picture: Long-term stability is the vital other half. In “Interferometry Offers Accurate Wavelength Measurements,” Latzel writes that there are big differences between the kinds of references used for different optical measurement solutions. Read more, beginning on page 26.
This issue is headed for SPIE Photonics West in early February. We hope to see you there. We’ll be in booth 8701 at BiOS and 700 & 701 at Photonics West, and this year at the show we are celebrating a number of milestones, including the 60th anniversary of the Photonics Buyers’ Guide, the reference tool at the foundation of Photonics Media.
While we celebrate several of our most popular publications, we also will launch the newest addition to our family: Industrial Photonics. This publication, launching in tabloid format, is a global resource for lasers, sensors, machine vision and automation systems for materials processing, process control and production. It is being designed and written for an audience of manufacturing, production, design and applications engineers, researchers and others involved in bringing photonic technologies to a range of industrial applications. I invite you to subscribe today at www.photonics.com/subscribe.