History of Convergent Photonics
The history of Convergent Photonics dates back in1961, shortly after the invention of the laser in 1960. The CO2 product line of Convergent can be traced to 1966, with the start-up of Coherent Radiation (Palo Alto, CA). Coherent founders demonstrated their fìrst CO2 laser at the Westcon exhibition in the fall of 1966. The first customer for the laser was the Boeing Co. where it was used “to investigate cutting and welding titanium”. In 1981, Laser Inc. began to purchase and assemble kits for CO2 lasers from Coherent and shortly thereafter, Coherent acquired Laser Inc., which became the industrial arm of Coherent, producing several models of slow flow CO2 lasers. Coherent General was formed in 1984 when General Electric made an investment in the company with the goal of obtaining a next generation Nd:YAG drilling laser. This business, which was now producing both CO2 and Nd:YAG industrial lasers, was sold to Transtec in 1993, but, as part of the acquisition, Transtec was required to change the name no longer using ‘Coherent’. The name Convergent Energy was then given to the laser business. During this same time, Transtec also acquired the rights for manufacturing and service of the Raytheon solid state laser products which had first appeared in the market also in the early 1960’s.
Meanwhile, UTRC (United Technology Research Center) which was formed in 1967, had started developing high power CO2 lasers (6 to 45 kW). The company that came out of the development was originally called the Industrial Laser Group (ILG) and, in 1989, was renamed United Technologies Industrial Lasers, or UTIL, headquarted in East Hartford, CT. This business was taken over by Transtec in 1994 when UTRC decided that it no longer wanted to pursue the industrial laser business, at which point Convergent Energy was renamed Convergent Lasers. In 2000, Convergent Lasers was sold to Prima Industrie, becoming part of Prima Electro in 2011, under the brand name of Convergent. The third quarter of 2014 begun with the announcement that Convergent changed its name to Convergent Photonics, a strategic branding choice to communicate its new dynamic outlook and further underscoring the company’s drive to offer high reliability, innovative solutions to the market place. With this new identity, Convergent Photonics presents itself as a global supplier of photonics technologies and a myriad of high power industrial laser sources for materials processing. This transition heralds a new beginning for Convergent Photonics as it becomes a reliable international partner and provider to all leading OEMs, offering unparalleled customer satisfaction, worldwide.