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High-Power Lasers:

Photonics Spectra
Jun 1997
Evolution Weeds

Stephanie A. Weiss, Senior Editor

If "better, faster, cheaper" is the motto of industry, it follows that the phrase would be the guiding vision of industrial sequipment suppliers, such as high-power laser manufacturers.
Laser cut, weld, solder, drill, mark and clad materials in industries from automotive manufacturing to watch-making. Since their early use in these applications more than 20 years ago, the lasers have evolved from troublesome laboratory curiosities to fully integrated machine tools. The evolution is continuing as industry proceeds to create ever smaller, more reliable and user-friendly devices, from higher-power sealed CO2 lasers to semiconductor diodes and diode-pumped solid-state lasers.
Industrial applications are very demanding in terms of safety, ease of use and reliability, and manufacturers who are too enamored with technology might as well stay out of the market: The key to industrial applications is solving problems and evolving to meet industry's ever-changing needs…

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