of LASER World of PHOTONICS 2013
International trade fair now a driving force in all branches of industry
It is difficult to imagine any aspect of our private or business lives without photonics applications. When it comes to meeting the challenges of the 21st century, optical technologies combined with electronics is a key crossover technology. The international trade fair LASER World of PHOTONICS 2013 will showcase the entire range of the latest applications in four halls at the Messe München trade-fair center from May 13 - 16, 2013. The trade fair is celebrating its 40-year anniversary in the year 2013. The fair takes place at the same time as the scientifically oriented World of Photonics Congress, Europe's largest photonics congress, which will be held at the trade-fair center from May 12 - 16.
Today's international trade fair LASER World of PHOTONICS got its start in 1973 as the world's first trade fair for laser technologies. It has consistently strengthened its character as a leading event for forty years and expanded its spectrum to include optical technologies and the entire range of photonics at an early stage. The presence of leading international manufacturers, scientific excellence and user industries make it the world's leading marketplace for laser and photonics technology.
The last time that the fair was held in 2011, there were 1,075 exhibitors and 27,490 visitors. It has a great deal of international appeal: Visitors came from 80 countries, and exhibitors were from 38 countries around the world.
and trends in 2013
The fair focuses on lasers and laser systems for manufacturing, lighting and energy as well as biophotonics and medical technology. Solutions for meeting the challenges that face modern society in the sectors for energy and health care and the ability to compete in production also play a special role. Examples of exhibits in these sectors include laser applications for electromobility, power engineering and automobile manufacturing, printed and organic electronics, modern solid-state light sources (LEDs, OLEDs), additive manufacturing in production, lasers for analysis and imaging in biophotonics, and laser applications and optical diagnostics in medicine.
Dr. Eckhard Heybrock, Senior Consultant at the VDI Technology Center, explains: "3D laser printing, for example, has the potential to revolutionize several aspects of production." Also known as laser sintering, this technique is used to create three-dimensional products out of plastic or metal powders one layer at a time. A thin powder layer is applied in keeping with the product's contours and melted onto the layer below it by laser. This technique can be used to create nearly any imaginable shape, layer by layer.
Ultra-short-pulse lasers, which are taking things to a new dimension, particularly in the manufacture of the most delicate cuts and structures, are also opening up new possibilities. Compared to short-pulse lasers, the new generation makes it possible to dose the energy that is introduced with much greater precision. Axel Bauer from the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology, explains: "The ultra-short-pulse laser sends out energy pulses, each of which is just several hundred femtoseconds - or less than a billionth of a second - long. This technology also makes it possible to cut materials that a "normal" laser would burn or meld due to the heat that is applied."
One photonics trend that everyone will profit from in everyday life is the ongoing development and propagation of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Their advantages are also impressive: "They are extremely flat and lightweight, and they can be bent and emit light from their entire surface, not just from a single point", explains Dr. Eckhard Heybrock. Finally, they consume 80 percent less energy than the conventional light bulb. And because the color of the light that they emit is variable, they can also produce warm, pleasant light.
Integrated, intelligent photonics sensors are also giving rise to entirely new applications: High-integration, networked and intelligent sensors that largely evaluate and further process measuring signals themselves, are resulting in systems that are nearly autonomous. For example, they make 3D vision possible. A well-known example of this is Microsoft Kinect technology, which makes it possible to control video games using gestures. This approach could also be put to use in industrial applications, where augmented reality represents another possible use for 3D vision. For example, special glasses could be used to project additional information into the employees' field of vision that could help them with manufacturing and control tasks.
for the photonics community
Dr. Wilhelm Kaenders, Chairman of the Technical Advisory Board for LASER World of PHOTONICS and CEO of Toptica Photonics AG, underscores the importance of this industry: "Photonics has justifiably - and in the mean time even politically - been identified as one of the key technologies for the current century. On all continents, optical tools contribute considerably to helping us deal with the great challenges of our time. Photonics provides solutions in a wide variety of sectors such as power engineering, mobility, information and communication, safety technology and health care. As a leading international gathering for the photonics community, together with the World of Photonics Congress, LASER World of PHOTONICS provides important momentum for the ongoing global growth of this industry."
Photonics industry in
a sound growth environment
According to Kaenders, photonics is driving the development of advancements in science and fundamental research, which remain huge. Which is why it comes as little surprise that the photonics industry is experiencing solid growth, unlike the rest of the economy.
Photonics is a growing market around the world: The industry association Spectaris estimates that global market volume is approximately 300 billion euros. Annual growth is expected to be some ten percent. And according to studies, a good 20 percent of total global sales will be generated by the approximately 5,000 photonics companies in Europe.
The photonics sector in Germany is also growing. At the national level, industry sales in 2012 are expected to grow by some ten percent to a good 28 billion euros. 85 percent of the approximately 1,000 photonics companies in Germany that employ a good 140,000 people are small and medium-size enterprises.
World of Photonics Congress
and Application Panels for users
The World of Photonics Congress, one of the leading photonics congresses in the world, bridges the gap between science and industry. According to Prof. Dr. Peter Loosen, Chairman of the Steering Committee for the World of Photonics Congress and Deputy Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology, "Combined with the Application Panels in the exhibition forums, the World of Photonics Congress is one of the largest and most significant forums in the world for the scientific and technical exchange in the field of photonics. Participants present and discuss topics that pertain to fundamental physics and approaches to implementation in engineering science, which ultimately can be seen at the fair in the form of realized products and techniques."
The Application Panels that take place in the exhibition halls at the same time as the congress will feature current and future applications of organic and printed electronics such as flexible solar cells or displays, printed batteries as well as touch displays and surfaces. Other focal points include the latest applications in analysis and medicine, lighting and security technology. Laser manufacturing techniques for the micro-engineering, electromobility and photonics sectors will also be presented.
LASER World of PHOTONICS 2013
from 13 to 16 May 2013, Fair ground Munich (Germany)
Images: R. Eberhard, messekompakt, EBERHARD print & medien agentur gmbh
Source: Messe Munich