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SME Developed Laser Cutting Certificate Program

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers' (SME) Industrial Laser Community (ILC) has developed a laser cutting certificate program that builds on fundamental knowledge of CNC operations and part design for CO2 laser cutting. This information will be applied in a uniquely designed interactive and hands-on demonstration optimizing the operation of a CNC laser cutting machine. Safety and ISO standards will be included in this program and each attendee will learn how to work in compliance with the parameters of CNC laser cutting machines and demonstrate proficiency. Co-sponsored by SME and the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association (FMA) and endorsed by the Laser Institute of America (LIA) and National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS), the first program will take place November 12-14 during the FABTECH Int'l & AWS Welding Show at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.

The certificate program, endorsed by Industrial Laser Solutions and major OEM leaders such as Amada, Bystronic, Mazak Optonics Corp., Mitsubishi Laser, TRUMPF, Harris Specialty Gas, Linde, and the American Iron & Steel Institute, was developed to address the industry need for skilled labor technicians. A recent SME survey found that companies are in high demand of a workforce with practical laser experience which doesn't currently exist. The program addresses this need and provides documentation of knowledge gained through pre- and post-program assessments.

"The LASER Cutting Certificate Program is the result of OEMS, end users, societies, and educational institutes coming together with the focus of promoting laser technology in North America," says Tony Arquisch, chairman of the SME ILC. "This program is the first step in assuring that North America will have a qualified workforce trained in modern manufacturing processes such as lasers in the future."

Neil Ball, chairman of the SME ILC Laser Cutting Certificate Program Committee agrees. "The major challenge our community faces is that laser technology it is an under utilized asset in the manufacturing engineers tool box. This is due in large part to the lack of laser technology education and the need for qualified technicians to operate the equipment. This year's launch of the Laser Cutting Certificate program at FABTECH should be considered a turning point and coming out for this most valuable manufacturing technology."

Members of the SME ILC Laser Cutting Certificate Program Committee are Neil Ball (Directed Light, Inc.), Iain Ferguson (Laseramp), Peter Busuttil (ComauPico), Tony Arquish (LASAG Industrial Lasers), Dianne Devereaux-Michael (Ophir Optics, Inc.), and Rich Greene (Laser Institute of America).

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