Quantcast

North Bay Business Journal

Monday, July 18, 2011, 6:52 am

Manufacturing Awards 2011: Innovation — Technology: Raydiance taking precision fast-pulse laser to new frontiers

By Loralee Stevens, Special to the Business Journal

Print Friendly Print Friendly    

Share this item
    Raydiance assembly line

    Raydiance assembly line workers build Smart Light lasers at the Petaluma facility.

    PETALUMA — Raydiance was named winner in the Innovation–Technology category for its unique, multi-application product and for the wide and rapid dissemination of its technology.

    Raydiance was founded to bring next-generation laser technology out of the lab and into the commercial marketplace.

    2011 Top Manufacturers in the North Bay

    Raydiance

    Address: 2199 S. McDowell Blvd. Petaluma 94954
    Phone: 707-559-2100
    Website: www.raydiance.com
    Employees: 50

    Its software-driven, ultra-fast laser pulse technology can precisely ablate just about any material without generating heat, giving it applications in human cell targeting and removal as well as a broad spectrum of very high-precision manufacturing and industrial uses.

    Led by former America Online CEO Barry Schuler, the Petaluma company has customers in major research labs across the country and recently partnered with major German laser manufacturer Rofin to give it an international footprint.

    According to a company spokesman, Raydiance now counts seven of the top medical device manufacturing companies among its customers.

    Mr. Schuler has likened the growth of high-speed laser technology — known as femtosecond laser — to computers, once room-sized and the exclusive domain of highly trained individuals.

    “Femtosecond has been considered an R&D toy for geeks … not powerful enough for serious applications … only suitable for a small research niche and not the commercial market,” he told attendees at a recent laser photonics conference in Munich.

    Raydiance laser platform

    The Raydiance ultra-fast laser is the size of a microwave oven

    Mr. Schuler and Raydiance CEO Dick Pierce believe femtosecond laser, while not likely to be deployed alongside personal computers in countless households, does belong in many more settings than specialized research laboratories.

    The Raydiance Smart Light is rugged enough for factory floor operations, yet precise enough to cut delicate medical stents. The size of a microwave oven, it sits easily on desks and countertops.

    A major component is the brainy computer controlled operating system, which allows lay people, not just highly trained technicians, to run it.

    “Software is the key,” Schuler said. “You cannot have a reliable robust femtosecond laser that isn’t being controlled by a software loop.”

    Although the company seeks wide deployment of the Smart Light and Rofin’s Raydiance-powered lasers, it has focused as well on research labs. Raydiance placed its earliest iterations in universities and research institutions, both to gather feedback and to give scientists an opportunity to develop applications.

    Micro medical devices, thin film processing and precious metal assaying and defense are only a few of the uses under development now as a result that that placement. The U.S. Navy was an early customer and investor during the first stages of development at the University of Florida.

    Raydiance moved to California in 2004 and by now investors have put about $50 million into the company. From a team of less than 10 researchers   Petaluma-headquartered Raydiance has grown its workforce to 50 engineers, technicians, assembly workers and administrative staff. About 25 new hires are planned for the coming year.

    Copyright © 1988–2014 North Bay Business Journal
    View the policy for linking to website content.

    Print Friendly Print Friendly    

    Submit Your Comments

    Required

    Required, will not be published

    Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments and Letters Policy. To share this item by email or social media, use the links above.

    Do not use this form to contact people, companies or organizations mentioned in this story. Contact them directly. Private messages left here will be deleted.