Recent developments in laser technology
The cutting process has reached the highest standard among the different high power laser apllications which are under development nowadays. Nevertheless, new developments in high speed cutting (Vsubs 100 m/min) and in cutting thicker metals (t is equal to 10 - 30 mm) can be expected. The strongest increase of different applications can be observed in the welding of metals using a 4 to 6 kW laser at the moment and 10 kW beam power in the near future. The laser surface treatment is still under development. But it can be expected that in this field the biggest market will arise in future. The development of process control techniques, which is supported at the moment, is important for all applications.