Modern manufacturing is an on-going photonics revolution. Light can be used by computers to process or measure materials with no surface contact, no contamination and no wear of tool edges in the smallest of scales and over large areas. Photonics-enabled light is used to produce the devices that are ubiquitous in modern lives, to protect our health and environment, and keep us safe.
Light-based machine vision and automated optical inspection systems make it possible to inspect a part or guide tools to the desired area of processing. Observed surface topology can be compared to the topology details stored of an ideal reference part to ensure quality. This is one of many reasons photonics increasingly extend their use in manufacturing, yielding gains in speed, cost, and quality.
New-age light-activation of materials is also fundamental to many manufacturing processes including printing, additive manufacturing and curing of adhesives and coatings.