Directed Photonics Inc.






CO2 Laser Specialists

About Us

 

Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, Directed Photonics, Inc. is the rebirth of Directed Energy, Inc., a laser technology company created by Dr. Leroy Sutter in 1982. DPI is an Indiana corporation with manufacturing located in Irvine, CA. The two State locations positions DPI to utilize the finest talents and most experienced people in the laser technology industry with over 100 man-years of industrial laser experience within DPI management and its direct associates.


The company is founded on the proven laser tube technology developed and patented by Dr. Sutter in the early 1980's. Today, DPI laser products are the most refined and improved versions of the original designs, incorporating numerous improvements and upgrades in materials, electronics and manufacturing techniques. The Company currently has several patents pending relating to these laser technology developments.


Thousands of laser tubes based on Dr. Sutter's original designs are used every day in nearly every industrialized country on Earth. DPI laser tubes are direct replacement upgrades to these tubes, improving performance of the systems that rely on this laser tube technology. New system designs are in development incorporating advanced DPI laser tube technology for use in current laser systems and for those yet to be developed.


Standard DPI laser tubes are available in three I.R. wavelengths and produce the highest laser power output of any laser tube of their size and weight.

Leroy V. Sutter Jr., Ph.D. - President and Technical Director of Directed Photonics, Inc.

Dr. Lee Sutter 


Dr. Sutter began his career in lasers and electro-optics early in life. At the age of twelve, self-taught and without adult assistance, he built by hand a fully operational 15 cm diameter Newtonian telescope including the grinding, polishing, figuring and coating of the final mirror.


Under the guidance of his uncle Marcel Marchesseault, a HAM-radio operator (call sign “W1NMH”) in Cranston, Rhode Island, “Dr. Lee” (as he is known around the industry), learned the basic skills of RF radio technology. Upon entering UCLA as an Engineering student in 1968, he began the merger of both his passion for electronics and optics culminating in his receiving the Bachelor of Science Degree Summa Cum Laude in Electrical Engineering and #1 graduation ranking in his engineering class. Dr. Sutter proceeded to obtain his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


In 1973 Dr. Sutter re-entered UCLA as a Howard Hughes Fellow. While working half-time at the Hughes Aircraft Company, Dr. Sutter received his doctorate in Electrical Engineering in only four years. During his time at Hughes Aircraft, Dr. Sutter began the research which became his life’s work on high power gas laser discharges. By the late 1970’s, Dr. Sutter had mastered the ability to drive miniature carbon dioxide gas lasers using high power radio frequency (RF) discharges. This laser technology would eventually become the dominant technology in the laser marking and coding field.


In 1982 with only $15,000 in capitalization, Dr. Sutter founded and formed Directed Energy, Inc. (“DEI”) located in Irvine, California. DEI was created to pursue the commercial possibilities of RF-pumped gas laser technology in the medical and industrial fields.


Stone, Sutter & Digimark 


In 1984, Dr. Sutter became the proud father of the digital laser marking and coding age with the design and construction of the first Digimark laser coder prototype. Dr. Sutter and co-inventor James Stone developed a laser technology that at the time was at least ten years ahead of its time and is still today the fastest and most powerful laser coding technology ever developed.


The Digimark laser system was initially marketed by Videojet Systems in Illinois for several years. The first Digimark was sold to Kodak in Rochester, New York in 1985 and was the first commercial digital carbon dioxide laser printer ever put onto a production line.


In the late 1980’s, DEI reacquired some of the marketing rights to the Digimark from Videojet. In the early 1990’s, DEI closed a major sale for over 100 Digimark units with General Mills. Additionally 20 units were sold to AT&T in Georgia at the same time. Digital laser coding had arrived!


In parallel to the coding and marking work being done at DEI in the late 1980’s, Dr. Sutter worked with medical doctors at both the Texas Heart Institute and Orthopaedic Hospital of Los Angeles in developing a hand-held laser for heart and joint surgeries respectively. For several years, the hand-held laser was marketed and distributed by Pfizer, Inc., the multi-national pharmaceutical company for additional medical uses including podiatric and dermatological surgery. The laser became the standard for foot surgery in the late 1980’s. The DEI-manufactured medical lasers were the only truly portable laser surgical tool in the world at that time.


Dr. Lee alias 007 circa 1984 


At the zenith of DEI in the early 1990’s with sales of both medical and industrial products, the company reached its financial peak with revenues of nearly $9.0M U.S. and good profits. The strains put on DEI to focus on either industrial or medical products were severe for a small company with limited financial assets. By 1993, the decision was made to concentrate on laser marking and coding. This required the combining of DEI’s laser technology with the proper worldwide marketing and sales force. In 1994, DEI sold its assets to Domino Printing Sciences of Cambridge, UK to focus on the field where the business started….laser marking and coding. With the formation of Domino Lasers, Inc (“DLI”) in 1994, DLI was soon to become a world leader in laser marking & coding.


The rest is history. Under the supervision of Dr. Sutter, DLI developed the DDC1 in the early 1990’s followed by the more technically advanced DDC2 and DDC3 systems. All three of these models were more technically advanced versions of the original Digimark system of the 1980’s.


Finally in the year 2001, DLI and Sator Laser of Germany combined the best in laser and scanner technologies to develop the S-series vector-scan laser marking and coding system. First released in 2002, the S-100 and S-200 systems have grown over the years to be a dominant marking and coding technology worldwide.


Dr. Sutter founded DPI in March 2010. This represented the culmination of a four decade dream to realize the ultimate in carbon dioxide laser miniaturization and superior performance. With a team of associates representing more than 100 years of combined industrial laser experience, DPI is capable of producing advanced laser solutions for a large spectrum of industrial, commercial and medical applications.


Dr. Sutter has currently over twenty U.S and international patents to his name but the best is yet to come! With R&D efforts that will produce the next generation of laser systems at DPI, Dr. Sutter has and will continue to “make his mark” in the laser world!


 

Dale A. Weber, - Director, Engineering and Operations for Directed Photonics, Inc.

Dale A. Weber


Dale Weber’s interest in lasers started at a young age. He first began experimenting with CO2 gas lasers in his father’s workshop when he was just 14. He found some plans in the magazine Popular Science, and scrounged parts from various retailers (including Crazy Louie’s Surplus City) to make a functional laser. While his laser ultimately worked, it was too big to be weaponized or used for any other practical purposes.


In 1983 Weber graduated from St. Olaf College with a BA in Physics. That same year he started his career as an Application Engineer at the world’s largest Electrical Discharge Machine (EDM) manufacturing company, Charmilles Technologies. It was at Charmilles that Weber nurtured his aptitude for the world of tooling and high precision.

In 1986 Weber accepted an offer to set up a West Coast Technology Center for Charmilles Technologies, moved to California, and became its application engineering manager.


After nearly 10 years developing high precision tooling solution for hundreds of companies, Weber accepted an offer from Printronix, Inc as an Advance Process Engineer. At Printronix, Weber developed his manufacturing skill set as he created the high precision manufacturing processes and tooling needed to manufacture the fastest and highest resolution line printer engine in the world.


Next in line for Weber’s career was the development of a high tech vending machine at Kaiser Electroprecision. The vending machine incorporated a freezer, a robotics system, and an impinged air microwave oven that dispensed piping hot food from the freezer section to the front door in less than 45 seconds. The development of this unique vending machine earned Weber his first two US patents.


As the vending machine project wound down, Weber moved on to Thomas and Betts, Electronics Division. Weber headed the New Products Development Team at the Irvine, Ca. Plant. He was able to apply his knowledge of molding, stamping, metalworking, and plating as he guided projects from concept to production. Weber also managed the integration of acquired companies into T&B, as well as the technology transfer of developed products that were moved to low cost manufacturing locations in Asia, Mexico, and Europe. Weber earned two more US patents for connector designs while at T&B.

With the eventual Tyco acquisition of T&B, Weber and a business partner acquired the assets and manufacturing rights to the T&B Premises wiring division of T&B. The company they formed, Connectors for Networking, developed and sold high speed connector solutions for the telecommunications industry. One of their key products was a Cat7 product capable of transmitting data at 1.3 GHz speeds with less than 5% crosstalk.


Before the wireless communication revolution began to cut into company profitability, Weber decided to move on to an opportunity of a lifetime. Weber accepted an offer to become Engineering manager at Domino Lasers, Inc. (What engineer didn’t want to work with lasers?!) Because of rapid expansion and a few other factors, Domino production yields had dropped to as low as 10% at the time Weber joined DLI. Implementing LEAN techniques, Statistical analysis, and some common sense, Weber was able to guide his team through the steps to improve yield to in excess of 90%, while common laser yields in the industry hover between 50% and 70%.


Weber also teamed up with DLI’s Technical Director, Dr. Sutter, to improve the laser design, which also drove up yields. Additionally Weber and Sutter developed the first dual wavelength commercial CO2 laser. The dual wavelength 9.3/10.3 micron wavelength laser combined the coding and marking advantages of 9.3 on substrates like PET bottles with the advantages of 10.3 on inked cardboard boxes.


Weber left DLI to peruse several consulting engineering opportunities. His clients included some of the largest medical device manufacturers.


In 2009 Domino Printing Sciences decided to move their laser facility, DLI, to Cambridge, England affording Weber the opportunity to join Dr. Sutter in forming Directed Photonics, Inc in March of 2010. Dr. Sutter and Weber developed a new CO2 laser tube in a period of just 6 months. Additionally the creative team effectively resolved the mode and mode drift problems that plague many laser builders in the miniature laser tube business. With the perfection of the laser tube, Weber and Sutter continue to focus on integrating the laser tube into a variety of OEM applications.