LASER PROCESSING ACTIVITIES IN FINLAND – TECHNOLOGICAL AND EDUCATIONAL VIEW
This paper presents the current situation of laser processing technology in Finland; industrial activities, research and development and education. The Finnish laser processing R&D started in 1985 in Lappeenranta University of Technology. The major portion of industrial laser applications are laser cutting and laser welding has a minor role. In the late 1990’s the number of laser welding applications started to grow and many subcontractors established facilities.
Research and education on laser materials processing is concentrated in two universities, Lappeenranta and Tampere Universities of Technology.
The main research fields are in laser and hybrid welding, surface treatment, laser welding of plastics, micro laser processing and paper processing. In addition, several Applied Universities and schools have started their education and service for the industry in laser and hybrid laser welding and cutting.The postgraduate educational activities in laser processing in Finland are comprehensive in all levels from laser operators to international laser experts. Finland has been the one of the most active countries in the world in organizing continuing education in laser material processing.