Job Shop Special Interest Group


What is a Laser Job Shop?

We define a laser job shop as ‘any commercial organisation that uses industrial lasers and complementary techniques for profit.‘ Membership of AILU automatically entitles such
laser users to free membership of the Job Shop Group.

The Job Shop Special Interest Group

We believe that making a success of running a laser job shop is more of a challenge than ever and the growth of the laser job shop group (established in 1999) to its current level of over 80 members has clearly demonstrated that there is a need and much to be gained from the group’s activities.


Mark Millar, Essex Laser
Job Shop Committee Chair



Job Shop Member Quotes

"The Association has much to offer any company involved in laser profiling technology" says JS SIG founder member David Lindsey .  “For the membership costs each year, AILU represents excellent value for money,” Mr Lindsey advocates. “I personally sit on the Jobshop sub-committee and find it an invaluable resource for the sharing of ideas and networking but as is the case with many industry associations, it would be even more effective if we could increase membership levels. As a result of an AILU gas survey, a little brow- beating and threats to move supplier we managed a saving of £80,000 over a twelve month period."

“Visits to other AILU Job Shops have allowed us to implement some simple organisational and layout changes to the way we operate”
Neil Main, Micrometric Ltd.

“Our Electricity Survey highlighted that 2 members spending the same monthly amount on electricity had an 11% difference in overall cost per unit – highlighting a potential annual saving of almost £20,000”
John Powell, Laser Expertise Ltd.

“The annual AILU Breakdown Response Survey allows us to hold the laser suppliers to account for their level of customer support.  Pressure from AILU Job Shops has resulted in positive improvements from the suppliers.”
Mark Millar, Essex Laser Ltd.


Benefits of membership include:

  • Networking opportunities

We run at least one informal business meeting a year for group members and invited guests, with key presentations on topics of common concern and interest.    

  • Advice on technical and safety matters

We offer a Job Shop Forum on the web site for posting questions and answers plus a free over the phone consultancy service.      

  • Sales leads

Sales leads from our web-based Products and Services Directory are automatically forwarded to all job shop members.      

  • Free surveys

We conduct at least two surveys a year on commercial value to laser job shops. These surveys are free to participate in, and only participants receive the survey results, with total anonymity. Recent topics have included gas, electricity and breakdown satisfaction.


Jobshop SIG Committee Members

 Laser Process Ltd
 John  Powell  Laser Expertise Ltd
 Neil Main  Micrometric Ltd
 Phil Carr  Carrs Welding Technologies Ltd
 Cirrus Laser Ltd
 Fimark Ltd
  Midtherm Laser Ltd
 Mark Millar  Essex Laser Job Shop Ltd
 Jamie Sharp  Laser Engineering UK Ltd


Chair's Report by Mark Millar

From AILU's The Laser User magazine (August 2107)

Last week I arrived at work seconds after a visitor pulled up in the car park. I followed him into the building a few meters behind and saw, hanging from his waist, a hi-vis jacket. Immediately I had the pangs of fear, I knew immediately who this was. Sure enough when I finally caught up with him he introduced himself as the “HM Inspector for Health & Safety”. My blood ran cold but I put a brave face on. Now this is not because I feel that we are doing anything wrong, in fact I work very hard to ensure the workplace is safe. Rather it is the knowledge that this person has the power to shut down my business if he finds something he doesn’t like… and they can always find something they don’t like if they look hard enough!

Following the recent awful tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire I think Fire Safety and Health & Safety are currently in the forefront of peoples' minds, even more than usual. We always need to be thinking “what can we learn?”, whenever something goes wrong. Although there are no doubt many important lessons to be learnt for the building and construction industry, for everyone else I think there is an important lesson in a common sense approach to Fire Safety and Health & Safety. Just ticking the boxes and following the basic rules is OK up to a point but without a bit of joined up thinking, stepping back and reflecting “is that actually how we should be doing this” you can miss an obvious issue.

Going back to the HSE Inspector, luckily all my paperwork such as risk assessments and electrical certificates etc. were all up to date and the inspector was very happy to see all of our machinery had either interlocks or light barriers which were all functioning correctly. Also, no sheets of metal are stored on their sides or left leaning against anything but instead they are all stored flat and on pallets. Before you go thinking I got off scot free, the inspector pulled us up on not having “Face Fitting Tests” for those to whom I provide face masks for grinding/deburring. So anyone wearing a face mask for these tasks needs to be tested to ensure they are provided with the correct shaped mask for their face.  I did not know that was required so hopefully you now know too. I am still awaiting full instructions from HSE about what they want us to do and provide them with, but there is some useful info on the HSE website, just search for: “Fit testing basics”

So don’t forget, put that Risk Assessment hat on regularly to try and spot any potential dangers before they become an issue.

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