Photonics is now indispensable in many industries and areas of our lives. As the world’s leading trade fair, Laser World of Photonics will reflect this inventive spirit in Munich (Germany) from June 24 to 27. Innovations, startups, and the international congress make the fair a gauge for the dynamic rate of innovation in photonics.
When photonics has a problem, it helps itself with photonics. A recent example of this is the Berlin-based Scansonic MI with a new development for manufacturing electric motors, which will be shown for the first time at Laser World of Photonics 2019. The application involves laser welding of copper hairpins that replace windings in modern e-motors. The problem is that copper is a difficult material to weld and the reflection from the hairpins differs depending on how they have been machined. The welding points are awkward to identify. Scansonic MI solves the problem with photonics: New welding optics recognize the processing point by means of an integrated camera and guide the laser beam to them with an accuracy of a tenth of a millimeter. The camera also has another important task: continuous process monitoring—and, consequently, extremely high process reliability.
Numerous entries for the 2019 Innovation Award
The world first from Scansonic MI is just one of the many innovations that can be seen in June at the world’s leading photonics trade fair in Munich. Exhibitors in five categories have submitted almost 60 innovations alone for the Innovation Award, which Messe München will be presenting in cooperation with publishing company Europa Science. To qualify, the entries must be components, systems, plants, processes, and services that have been developed within the last twelve months. When they are submitted, the entries have to be market-ready and be shown at the exhibitor’s booth during the fair.
The submitted innovations are split evenly among five categories in which the jury recently picked the three finalists. They include a linear array detector for the visible infrared range (VIS SWIR), a femtosecond laser for biophotonics and the new blue NUBURU laser with 500 watts power for machining reflective metals. Civan Advanced Technologies is presenting an innovation based on its optical phased array technology for electro-optical beam control for shorter processing times and improved process quality. TRUMPF, TOPTICA, Rofin Sinar UK, Xenics, SWIR Vision Systems, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Qingdao Lasence, and many more exhibitors have announced new solutions for manufacturing, biophotonics, optoelectronics, imaging, sensors, and the production of optical components.
Startup Awards: Six finalists have been chosen
In addition to the established manufacturers, newly founded companies are also driving innovation in photonics. Laser World of Photonics offers them a platform at the joint startup booth and will be presenting the Startup Award for the third time this year. Here, too, the jury has picked six finalists. They see their entrepreneurial future in lidarsensors and SWIR cameras for driver assistance systems and autonomous vehicles, real-time sensors for bacteria on food, 3D and infrared sensors, and the generation of free-floating hologram-like images and videos, and the production of miniature spectrometers based on fiber Bragg gratings that can be inscribed in the fiber core with ultrashort pulse lasers. After a live pitch on June 25 from 10:30 on the stage of the Photonics Forum “Laser Materials Processing” in Hall A3, the decision will be made which startup will receive the 2019 award, which also comes with EUR 5,000.
Top jury picks finalists
“I have been very impressed by the quality of the submissions and the innovative strength of the products and developments that have been presented,” says Gabriele Jansen, founder and managing director of Vision Ventures and a member of the Innovation Award jury.
The jury for the Laser World of Photonics Awards comprises:
- Dr. Markus Bartram, Picolas GmbH
- Jonathan Blackburn, AILU / TWI Ltd
- Dr. Wilhelm Kaenders, TOPTICA Photonics AG
- Professor Peter Loosen, Fraunhofer ILT
- Jürgen Niederhofer, Newport Spectra-Physics GmbH
- Dr. Andreas Olmes, High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
- Dr. Andreas Popp, TRUMPF Lasertechnik GmbH
- Professor Jürgen Popp, Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology, Jena
- Gregory Quarles, The Optical Society (OSA)
- Dr. Ronald Sroka, LIFE-Center, Hospital of University Munich
- Professor Falk Strascheg, Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE)
- Dr. Wenko Süptitz, SPECTARIS
- Professor Andreas Tünnermann, Fraunhofer IOF
- Professor Paul Urbach, TU Delft
- Gabriele Jansen, Vision Ventures, Germany