The 13th Industry Award of The Laser Society of Japan for fiscal year 2021

The 13th Laser Society of Japan Industry Award for 2021 has been decided as follows.

Overview of The Laser Society of Japan Industry Award
The Laser Society of Japan awards The Industry Award to the supporting members of the Society for their excellent achievements contributing to the development of the domestic laser-related industry in the practical application, and the dissemination of laser-related products and technologies.
“Laser Industry Award for Excellent Product” will be given to the technology and market performance as laser-related industrial technology, “Laser Industry Encouragement Award” will be given to the market development and future potential, and “Laser Industry Contribution Award” will be given to the excellent basic technology or long-term cumulative contribution. In addition, “Laser Industry Special Award” will be given to the product that is expected to contribute to the laser industry.

The quality of the application contents was highly competitive overall this time, but finally selected 9 applicants, the same as the last year, which were the highest number ever.

I. Laser Industry Award for Excellent Product

“Narrow linewidth Tunable Laser based on DFB laser array for Digital Coherent Transmission”  Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd.

Research and development began in 2000, and with the development of semiconductor technology that enabled monolithic integration, small package technology using resin bonding, and low noise control circuit technology, tunable laser with the world’s highest level of high output, high wavelength stability, and narrow linewidth has been realized. Sales started in 2012, and the sales record up to 2016 is sufficient, and both domestic and global market shares are high. Further, the expansion of transmission capacity is expected in the future, and it can be expected as a key device for next-generation optical communication. In addition, it can be expected to produce many economic effects such as the spread of high-definition televisions. Therefore, Laser Industry Award for Excellent Product will be awarded.

“World’s First Commercialized Retinal Imaging Laser Eyewear” QD Laser, Inc.

QD Laser, Inc. has developed laser eyewear as a new business with a technology that directly projects a full-color image onto the retina using a red, green, and blue laser, which is the three primary colors of light, as a light source. It is possible to display a clear image that naturally overlaps the field of view without being affected by the image formation mechanism and focus position of the wearer. It was commercialized for the first time in the world as RETISSA Display in 2018, and in January 2020, it obtained domestic medical device manufacturing and marketing approval. Even if it focuses on the application of anterior segment diseases such as irregular astigmatism and corneal opacity, it is estimated that there is a market of 900 billion yen in Japan, the United States and Europe, and the number of units sold is expected to increase in the future. In the future, in order to deal with the social issues of the aging society of the rapid increase in visual impairment, it will not only support the visually impaired and apply it to ophthalmic diseases, but also will expected to enter new markets such as medical testing equipment industry companies and medical service industry companies. And it can be expected to develop. Therefore, Laser Industry Award for Excellent Product will be awarded.

“Technology to reduce friction in automotive engine by texturing piston surface with femtosecond pulse laser” AISIN CORPORATION,ART METAL MFG. CO., LTD.,IMRA AMERICA, INC.

An industrial high-intensity ultrashort pulse fiber laser using CPA technology, which won the 2018 Nobel Physics Award, was developed and put into practical use in mass production from April 2018. The application is laser processing that performs groove processing on the mirror-processed sliding surface (Piston skirt) of the piston / connecting rod system of automobile engines. As a result, an oil pool can be formed in the mirror-finished part to reduce the friction inside the engine, so the friction is reduced by 25% without seizure, which greatly contributes to achieving the maximum combustion efficiency of the engine of 40%. Pistons with a high share are processed with this method in mass-produced vehicles on mainly family cars, in Japan in 2019, contributing to the reduction of CO2 derived from automobiles. In the future, it is expected to be applied to production equipment and jigs with various sliding parts, and it is expected that the range of applications for laser machining will be expanded. Therefore, Laser Industry Award for Excellent Product will be awarded.

II. Laser Industry Encouragement Award

“Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope Mirante” NIDEK CO., LTD.

By using low level output laser light as the imaging light source for fundus examination, it is possible to capture the retinal image with three colors of light which has never existed before, so that the contrast between normal and lesion parts can be strongly projected, and it is an excellent product. In terms of developing medical technology through industry-academia collaboration, it can be highly evaluated as a precedent for the practical application and commercialization of technology developed in cutting-edge research projects. In this way, the product has a high degree of contribution to industry, high expectations from the ophthalmic market, and is also starting expansion into overseas markets. In the future, further improvement of image recognition / judgment ability by Artificial Intelligence can be expected. Therefore, Laser Industry Encouragement Award will be awarded.

“Photoacoustic Microscope Hadatomo™ Z” ADVANTEST CORPORATION

This is an imaging method that irradiates a living body with a nanosecond pulse laser beam and receives the generated ultrasonic waves. The feature of this product is that it enables calculation of oxygen saturation based on light absorption characteristics and selective imaging of blood and melanin, expected to be applied to the diagnosis of skin diseases and skin research in the beauty field. In addition, research and development of this product started in 2010, and it was commercialized in 2019 with two wavelengths, which is the result of the National R&D program (ImPACT program). Currently, the main application is the skin research field. Although the sales record is still small, it can be expected to be applied to medical devices in the future. Therefore, Laser Industry Encouragement Award will be awarded.

III. Laser Industry Contribution Award 

“Support by research grants in the field of laser processing” THE AMADA FOUNDATION

Since the establishment of the foundation in 1987, the great contribution of research grants to the field of laser processing centered on social implementation and the support of young researchers on laser processing are very important, and the cumulative number of grants and the total amount of grants are very high. Therefore, Laser Industry Contribution Award will be awarded.

“Mitsubishi Mobile Monitoring System for Diagnosis Ⅱ(MMSDⅡ)”

MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC Corporation

A system that confirms the shape and deterioration progress with 8K line cameras and high-density laser scanners while traveling on roads and railroads. It has been put into practical use as an infrastructure deterioration diagnosis system with the comprehensive strength of Mitsubishi Electric Corp., and it reduces the workload of maintenance and management. It has completed many service contracts for railway companies, highway companies and local governments, etc. Based on these achievements, this system, which applies laser technology, is a highly evaluated product that has contributed widely to the safety and security of society by being implemented as an infrastructure monitoring system. Therefore, the Laser Industry Contribution Award will be awarded.

“Gratings for laser pulse compression” HORIBA, Ltd.

It is the diffraction grating products that supports the CPA technology that won the 2018 Nobel Physics Award, and the extremely high manufacturing technology is also the core technology for increasing the intensity of ultrashort pulse lasers, and the optical elements that are indispensable for it are stable with high performance and quality. The track record of supplying to the market can be highly evaluated. Although it is a special product, the contribution to the laser industry over many years, including its delivery record to all major research facilities in Japan and its worldwide sales record, can be highly evaluated. Therefore, Laser Industry Contribution Award will be awarded.

IV. Laser Industry Special Award

 “High-power laser beam profiler BPF-L/S series by fluorescence imaging technology” Canare Electric Co., Ltd.

This product adopts a method that can measure the laser beam characteristics by directly inputting the high-power laser without attenuating it regardless of continuous light or pulse. This is a product with high usability that allows the user to measure the beam without any hassle. In honor of the challenging attitude of the company that has launched domestic products in the beam profiler  market, which is crowded with overseas competing products, we hope that the high usability of  these products will spread it to a wide range of users in the future,therefore Laser Industry Special Award will be awarded.