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Photonics will power Industry 4.0, says Photonics21 Work Group

05 October 2017

Photonics21 Work Group 2 Industrial Manufacturing and Quality

Members of Photonics21 Work Group 2 Industrial Manufacturing and Quality
worked on roadmap development at their recent meeting in Frankfurt.

Photonics devices and their applications have revolutionized society through innovative industrial production processes and working conditions, asserted participants in a meeting 11 September in Frankfurt of the the Photonics 21 Work Group on Industrial Manufacturing and Quality.

In fact, they agreed, photonics will power Industry 4.0, enabling more efficient, cost-competitive, sustainable resource utilization and collaboration throughout the value chain, strengthening Europe's industrial base and enabling customized product and service innovations.

The meeting was chaired by Thomas Rettich of Trumpf. Eugene Arthurs, SPIE CEO, was among participants.

"Photonics technologies are powerful economic drivers," Arthurs said. "We who work in this industry are well aware of that, yet our politicians may not be. So, it is vital that we work to raise the profile of photonics in funding discussions and to encourage public-private partnerships."

Discussion explored value propositions and market potentials including disruptors, in areas such as agriculture, space, automotive, transportation, scientific research, and hazardous environments.   The group also identified obstacles to the successful photonics development including political, legal, societal, economic, and technological factors. Among political causes, for example, politicians may not understand the potential of photonics, which affects funding as well as policy.

Photonics21 Work Groups are the main centers of activities within the organization, each focusing on the development of specific research and innovation prorities. More information is at www.photonics21.org/AboutPhotonics21/workgroups.php.