28 November 2006

£350,000 research boost for Hull laser business

Yorkshire Forward is investing more than £350,000 in Rofin Sinar UK to develop more economical and environmentally-friendly lasers at its site in Willerby, Hull.

Rofin Sinar will match fund the Yorkshire Forward research and development grant to develop a range of low powered carbon dioxide lasers that will be used to mark bar codes and batch codes on packaging.

Rofin Sinar predicts the new laser process will be more cost-effective, efficient and offer greater stability than existing techniques.

Another benefit of the lasers will be that they will replace ink-based coders that use environmentally unfriendly chemical solvents.

The business also aims to research how to select specific wavelengths to match the properties of materials.

Rofin Sinar UK, part of the world-wide Rofin group of companies, is the leading European supplier of compact sealed carbon dioxide lasers at powers greater than 100 watts. The Yorkshire Forward grant award will enable Rofin Sinar to develop a range of novel low-power sealed lasers below 100 watts.

Ken Lipton, managing director at Rofin Sinar UK, said: "The Yorkshire Forward R&D grant has given us a great boost to develop this project which has the potential to expand our factory, enable us to employ more people, and increase exports for this area. We already export 96 per cent of our output and source 30 per cent of our material from the Humber region.

"This research programme is a great chance for us to address the large and growing markets in industrial processing and coding."

Jim Farmery, head of innovation at Yorkshire Forward, said: "Yorkshire Forward is committed to supporting businesses of all sizes in our region to undertake innovative research programmes. The development of new laser technologies at Rofin Sinar's Willerby factory will play a vital role in maintaining business growth in the Humber.

Contact: Keith Clark

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