Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stick with the message

Every once in awhile, as the Editor-in-Chief of Industrial Laser Solutions, I am reminded of the mission of this magazine.

A reader, Barry Buchanan, contacted me about his reading of an article in the September/October issue that dealt with laser marker selection. He writes, ”While reading the article, I found myself wishing that I possessed the information written here 10 years ago when I was first contracted to develop a marking program for a large hand tool manufacturer marking round plated products, and that sales people had this same information and fully understood it. I eventually installed 22 (laser) marking systems in their company. I contacted several people involved with laser sales and none were able to explain the differences. Most seemed to think that a Nd:YAG, a ND:YVO4 and a fiber system, because they are all 1064 wavelength, are all the same when actually, as Peter Grollmann (the author) pointed out so well, they are quite different and each has its own place in the field of marking. It took me some time to grasp these differences especially in the fiber verses YVO4 systems. A company I was working with to develop a marking program wanted to peruse the fiber as a replacement system, so I was doing a lot of sampling, but not until I finally had the opportunity to have a system in house for a month and work with it, did I fully understand the differences. This is the best written article I’ve seen comparing the good and not so good points of solid state laser marking systems. It is very well written and provides a wealth of information to anyone trying to start a marking program.”

Twenty-five years ago, when I co- founded ILS, I promulgated a mission statement that is as pertinent today as it was back in the days when laser processing was struggling to find a place in the manufacturing plants. In three sentences this statement is as important today as it was then:

“Manufacturing professionals require timely technical information about and evidence of the benefits of laser materials processing and the products that affect these processes. Keeping pace with all these benefits requires access to information from professionals who are knowledgeable about advanced laser materials processing. Industrial Laser Solutions provides first-hand experience about the technology and benefits to advanced laser material processing, educating readers in ways to improve profitability.”

As I read Barry’s letter it occurred to me that it was a perfect example of what we try to achieve with ILS in every issue. I should have this mission statement blown-up and posted over my computer terminal as I select editorial themes for next year. Thank you for reminding me, Barry.

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