China competition impacts laser firm revenues l Ultrafast lasers could reduce impact of nuclear waste l Brose and IPG to develop in-line weld measurement technology l Robot- assisted laser to manufacture large-scale aerospace parts l Diode laser reduces residual stress during metal additive manufacturing

Report: International Laser Marketplace

Profile: Professor Dr Reinhart Poprawe Analysis: Diode lasers Analysis: Blue lasers Analysis: Maintenance

Analysis: Manufacturing 5G technologies

Analysis: Weld monitoring 10

Matthew Dale reports on the International Laser Marketplace that took place at Laser World of Photonics this year


Looking at the career of Professor Dr Reinhart Poprawe, director of Fraunhofer ILT, who has announced that he will retire this autumn


Dr Jörg Neukum highlights how the ease of integration and maintenance of direct diode lasers has contributed towards their increased uptake in industry


Jean-Michel Pelaprat discusses the benefits of materials processing using emerging high- brightness blue diode lasers


Bradley McBain explains how the refurbishment of cutting heads can provide an economical alternative to buying replacement parts


Christopher Ryder discusses how CO2 lasers can be used to address new material challenges being faced in the manufacture of 5G technologies


Dr Nataliya Deyneka-Dupriez describes the benefits that OCT can bring to weld monitoring, and highlights how the technology is starting to find applications in e-mobility

Supported by the LIA Feature: Ultrafast Feature: Displays

Focus: The William M. Steen Awards

LIA News AILU News Application focus: Cutting Products

Lasers and laser systems for materials processing

Suppliers’ directory Find the suppliers you need

46 24

Matthew Dale explores the advantages of increasing the average power of ultrafast lasers, and discovers how this higher power can be delivered to the workpiece


Gemma Church finds that lasers are playing a crucial role in increasing the functionality of modern displays


The LIA has introduced a set of annual awards dedicated to Professor William Maxwell Steen, a veteran and pioneer of laser technology


Laser Systems Europe speaks with LIA’s executive director, Dr Nathaniel Quick, and the LIA previews an upcoming presentation to be given at its newly formatted ICALEO conference


Dave MacLellan on AILU’s next Annual Job Shop Laser Business Meeting and an upcoming workshop for the transportation sector


John Powell on some of the key aspects to consider when buying a new cutting machine for a job shop


This autumn the laser industry will see the retirement of one of its most significant, well-recognised and well-respected figures, Professor Dr Reinhart Poprawe, director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT. His departure from the industry will bring to an end what will undoubtedly be referred to as ‘the Poprawe era’ of the ILT – beginning in 1996 when he was first appointed director.

During this 23-year period, countless

innovations were made at the institute, all by highly motivated engineers and scientists to whom Poprawe offered extremely creative freedom and an outstanding infrastructure. In addition, not only was a patent filed at the ILT every three to four weeks during Poprawe’s tenure, but around 30 spin-off companies were also founded in this environment, to which he offered active support during their critical initial phases. A symposium was held in honour of

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Professor Poprawe earlier this year on the eve of Laser World of Photonics, where 280 experts from the laser industry paid tribute to his life’s work as a professor of laser technology, as well as to his services to research and bringing together industry and science. In attendance were 60 of the total 200 scientists who earned their doctorate under Poprawe’s supervision, who presented him with a symbolic doctoral cap in recognition of his exceptional work as a professor. On page 12, in addition to speaking with the man himself, we review Poprawe’s extensive career in more detail and learn about the many accolades he has earned over the years. We thank him for his contributions to

the laser industry and wish him all the best for his retirement!

The end of an era...

Matthew Dale, editor



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