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The laser breakfast club

20 Jun 2011

The University of Manchester, in partnership with Liverpool University, are holding another free event to help North West manufacturing companies become more competitive.

Businesses can benefit from the laser breakfast

The technology breakfast, which will be held at the Daresbury Centre on June 30th, will cover two common industrial laser applications: coating and drilling.

This is the second event held by the University – the first, in February this year, was a huge success attracting many local businesses and manufacturers.

Laser coating is an up and coming technology both for product development, commercial and environmental reasons. New structures and products can be coated with lasers than traditional methods and the coating can be directed rather than traditional blanket approaches.

Economically it wastes less expensive powders and uses less energy.  Competitors abroad are adopting this technology and it is believed that British companies will need to consider this technology to stay competitive.

Laser Drilling is a contactless process, can be extraordinary fast on metals less than 5mm thick and produce holes with little stress and no break out.

As it is contactless, a laser system has lower operating costs by not needing to replace or repair drill bits and are versatile and able to handle different machining dimensions. This includes micro-holes, which are too small to be produced by anything but the most expensive mechanical tools.

The micro holes can even be drilled in angles or on curved surfaces.  Laser drilling is not just limited to metals: it can be used on composites, plastics, concrete or wood with appropriate advantages in tool wear, stress and hole parameters.

“US studies of the global markets show that lasers are growing faster than average for machine tools. Last year laser installations globally grew by 27%, addititive systems alone grew by 24%. So these are technologies the world’s manufacturing industries are investing in. Our goal is to help North West companies keep competitive.” says Professor Lin Li of the University of Manchester’s Laser Processing Research Centre. “This breakfast is a good forum for companies to learn about these new technologies.”

The technology breakfast will open at 8am, with presentations beginning at 8:30am until 10:30am. Delegates will also be informed about the Knowledge Exchange in Laser Engineering Programme which offers a free service to eligible companies (ie independent SMEs) in the North West on evaluating lasers for their business.

This programme is funded by the NWDA and ERDF and is in its final months, so applications are more than welcome. This programme is being run in partnership with Liverpool University

More details or to join the free technology breakfast e-mail Roger Hardacre at The University of Manchester roger.hardacre@manchester.ac.uk