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GE Global Research arms its Jedis

By Lombardo David
Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Researchers at GE Global Research in Niskayuna and around the world are developing next generation laser technology for the manufacturing workforce.

According to a company news release, current and future workers in the manufacturing fields will be armed with these new tools. A video of one of the lasers in action is available below.

A major breakthrough in laser technology came from Niskayuna in 1960, when physicist Robert Hall worked on the invention of the "semiconductor (diode) laser." The creation was utilized in television remote controls, price code scanners and laser printers.

GE laser scientists in Shanghai recently built a unique laser deposition machine that can work with materials, like titanium, that are traditionally difficult.

“As manufacturing becomes more advanced, we’re beginning to see laser technologies in manufacturing move from specialty applications to common tools used by manufacturing workers on the plant floor,” said Hongqiang Chen, who leads new developments for GE in laser technology, in a statement. “New manufacturing employees will sort of be like Jedi Knights, wielding laser tools that cut, weld and scribe advanced metal and ceramic materials into parts.”

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