How to Avoid the Valley of Death in Laser Technology
The valley of death is a common metaphor in funding circles for the risk-strewn phase of technology development where progress is in a three-way race against diminishing funds and a growing field of competitors swooping in.
It’s especially perilous for manufacturers using lasers for the first time. Many think they can cross the valley quickly, but lasers are challenging and complex. They may buy the laser and then throw it over to a team who knows automation but don’t know lasers.
After two or three years, behind schedule and having blown the budget they still have poor results —perhaps discovering they have the wrong laser, can’t get repeatable results or the process is too slow for scaling production. They never escape the valley of death – game over.
Finding the Right Laser Automation Partner
Manufacturers who need scalable automated laser solutions can find it hard to find the right partner.
Laser manufacturers may know lasers but they’re not going to know how to incorporate them into the manufacturing process at scale – they can sell you a laser but not a manufacturing process or an automated laser solution.
Custom automation equipment suppliers know how to design and manufacture equipment to scale production but aren’t laser experts. If you are lucky, they tell you what they don’t know and ask you to develop a solution. However, false assumptions are often made that may lead you deep into the valley without knowing until it’s too late.
Bottom line: some suppliers can do lasers and some can do automation but only Owens Design can do both – for a complete laser process automation solution with production ready results.
Partnering with Owens Design & TLS
By partnering closely with Turner Laser Systems (TLS), conveniently located in our building, Owens Design delivers the best of both worlds: state-of-the-art, automated laser processes that also scale to meet your production requirements, while minimizing risk all along the way.
Bridging the valley of death requires a combination of experience, technical expertise, and a team of partners to guide and advise you around the many obstacles along the way.
From choosing the wrong laser to developing a flawed or sluggish workflow, there are major risks to navigate. Our teams work closely with clients to identify risks early on, work through each one systematically to mitigate ongoing risk, build a proof of concept for each risk factor, and strategically guide them across the valley of death.
Turner Laser System’s 360-Mastery Methodology delivers a manufacturing ready process that fits your needs, provides you with real data, and address your risks and concerns. TLS can also manufacture pre-production parts to demonstrate that this method will work for your product, ensuring smooth transition later and minimize wasted resources.
Start with a Laser Automation Review
Let our experienced laser and automation experts discuss your manufacturing goals and challenges so we can start developing the right laser process automation solution – from customizing a standard tool to developing a 100% customized solution. This will help you bridge the valley of death and achieve a successful new product introduction.