Job Shop SIG


What is a Laser Job Shop?

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

Chairman's Report by Mark Millar

February 2016

I have taken over the chairman’s role at a difficult time. UK industrial output is down 1.1% just in December according to the Office for National Statistics & manufacturing fell 0.2% for the third month in a row. In this uncertain economy I think everyone out there is having tough time, be it higher peaks and troughs of the usual roller-coaster ride or just plain quiet. We are getting calls daily from the steel stockholders chasing for every little piece of business as they too are very quiet.

So what is causing this? Steel and oil industries are struggling. China is busy flooding the market with cheap steel trying to keep their own mills going and Saudi is doing the same with oil. As an example in March 2014 the SNP were using a figure of $110 per barrel to fuel the argument for independence yet as I write this oil is less than $27 a barrel. This is important because although supply and demand will eventually correct themselves the reason these countries don’t want to cut production is that worldwide everyone’s figures are down on expected growth. Perhaps this is just a correction of worldwide economics but the markets are unsure and reacting with volatility and all this affects confidence. 

What can we do about it? Don’t drop your prices, this is never the answer, instead be positive. Despite all this there is still growth. Try not to be caught up in the doom and gloom promoted in the media, they love a dramatic headline. “UK growth expected to be 0.5%” really isn’t going to sell many papers but that is the reality. We might not be setting the world on fire with our growth but we need to get back to the grind, work hard and understand our industry is based on the confidence of our customers who place the orders, not just our prices. As a job shop we are ticking along, not silent. So be positive and the orders will continue to roll in. There is still work out there we just need to readjust to live off what is available, work harder and leaner “cut down on your porklife mate... get some exercise”.

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.

Benefits of membership include:

  • Networking opportunities.

We 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, Virtual laser Expert and Design for Laser Manufacture areas 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, materials and transport.

Jobshop SIG Committee Members

 Laser Process Ltd
 John  Powell  Laser Expertise Ltd
 Neil Main Micrometric Ltd
  Subcon Laser
Cutting Ltd
Cirrus Laser Ltd
 Fimark Ltd
 Martin Cook  Cutting Technologies Ltd
 Midtherm Laser Ltd
 Mark Millar  Essex Laser Job Shop
Laser Engineering UK


Job Shop Member Quotes

"The Association has much to offer any company involved in laser profiling technology" - says JS SIG founder member David Lindsey in the May 2009 issue of Production Engineering Solutions.  “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."

Read the full article here


“Membership of the AILU laser job shop group and participation in the surveys has helped our purchasing department save thousands of pounds”
Dr John Powell, Technical Director, Laser Expertise Ltd.

“Sharing information with other members has enabled us to cut materials we have never cut before so we are now able to reach markets that were previously inaccessible” Martin Cook, Managing Director, Cutting Technologies Ltd.

“In order to get the best out of your company, your employees and your suppliers you need to know what the rest of the industry is doing – The AILU surveys tell you exactly that” David Lindsey, Managing Director, Laser Process Ltd.


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