Gerry Jones, General Sales Manager for Laser Systems at Trumpf UK.
The Market Development (MD) Special Interest Group was founded in October 2003 with a brief to plan AILU activity to ‘Grow The Market’ for its members. At that time the main effort was put into reaching out to designer engineers, to encourage them to 'think laser', which resulted in AILU's ‘Design for Laser Manufacture’ website.
I have been a member of the main AILU committee for several years and was acutely aware that little had happened within the MD Group since the launch of the DLM website. I was also aware that the MD Group could never be more needed than in the present economic climate. Its aim is to increase the industry uptake of laser manufacturing, and all AILU members who are suppliers of laser-related equipment and services have free membership. So it was that I agreed to take on the role of Chair of the MD Group.
In this, the 50th year of the laser, it is interesting to reflect on the amazing progress the laser has made. Starting as a tool looking for a use it has established itself as the tool of choice in industries as diverse as medical device manufacture and ship building. New designs and types have been continually introduced and the pace of technological development has not slowed up. Remarkably, this development has been matched by new and truly innovative applications. For sure there are many opportunities and exciting times ahead.
It is in the context of amazing progress and a high future potential that I look forward to heading the Market Development Group. A challenge, of course, for which I will never be able to say that I did not have the right tool for the job.