Job Shop Special Interest Group


What is a Laser Job Shop?

We define a laser job shop as ‘any commercial organisation that uses industrial lasers and complementary techniques for profit.‘ Membership of AILU automatically entitles such
laser users to free membership of the Job Shop Group.

The Job Shop Special Interest Group

We believe that making a success of running a laser job shop is more of a challenge than ever and the growth of the laser job shop group (established in 1999) to its current level of over 80 members has clearly demonstrated that there is a need and much to be gained from the group’s activities.


Mark Millar, Essex Laser
Job Shop Committee Chair



Job Shop Member Quotes

"The Association has much to offer any company involved in laser profiling technology" says JS SIG founder member David Lindsey .  “For the membership costs each year, AILU represents excellent value for money,” Mr Lindsey advocates. “I personally sit on the Jobshop sub-committee and find it an invaluable resource for the sharing of ideas and networking but as is the case with many industry associations, it would be even more effective if we could increase membership levels. As a result of an AILU gas survey, a little brow- beating and threats to move supplier we managed a saving of £80,000 over a twelve month period."

“Visits to other AILU Job Shops have allowed us to implement some simple organisational and layout changes to the way we operate”
Neil Main, Micrometric Ltd.

“Our Electricity Survey highlighted that 2 members spending the same monthly amount on electricity had an 11% difference in overall cost per unit – highlighting a potential annual saving of almost £20,000”
John Powell, Laser Expertise Ltd.

“The annual AILU Breakdown Response Survey allows us to hold the laser suppliers to account for their level of customer support.  Pressure from AILU Job Shops has resulted in positive improvements from the suppliers.”
Mark Millar, Essex Laser Ltd.


Benefits of membership include:

  • Networking opportunities

We run at least one informal business meeting a year for group members and invited guests, with key presentations on topics of common concern and interest.    

  • Advice on technical and safety matters

We offer a Job Shop Forum on the web site for posting questions and answers plus a free over the phone consultancy service.      

  • Sales leads

Sales leads from our web-based Products and Services Directory are automatically forwarded to all job shop members.      

  • Free surveys

We conduct at least two surveys a year on commercial value to laser job shops. These surveys are free to participate in, and only participants receive the survey results, with total anonymity. Recent topics have included gas, electricity and breakdown satisfaction.


Jobshop SIG Committee Members

 Laser Process Ltd
 John  Powell  Laser Expertise Ltd
 Neil Main  Micrometric Ltd
 Phil Carr  Carrs Welding Technologies Ltd
 Cirrus Laser Ltd
 Fimark Ltd
  Midtherm Laser Ltd
 Mark Millar  Essex Laser Job Shop Ltd
 Jamie Sharp  Laser Engineering UK Ltd


Chair's Report by Mark Millar

From AILU's The Laser User magazine (February 2018)

No doubt you will have seen the spectacular failure of Carillion in the news recently. Possibly some of you have been affected by it. Companies going bang is nothing new, but this time there is a difference.

When running any company there are always issues with trying to chase debtors and deal with customers that go bust. In the Job Shop market we seem to have much more than our fair share of failing companies that leave us high and dry; they often open up again a few days later with a slight name change and are back at it again. Yes there are various, often expensive, ways to protect yourself, and some costs can be retrieved, but in the most part a few pennies in the pound does not make up for what has been lost. I certainly feel like it is an all-too-frequent occurrence and the Government seems completely oblivious to the scale of the problem.

In the case of Carillion, the Government’s first reaction was that they were a private company and would not receive Government assistance, typically short sighted if you ask me! The people they wanted to target were the senior managers who have been paid the big bucks. Senior managers were given the option to repay some of their large bonuses, all of whom declined. Those that are actually suffering are the employees, pension holders, suppliers and the customers. Possibly you are both a supplier and a customer in a way, as this company had fingers in many pies. The main difference here though is that the Government was one of the customers and so will also suffer as a result of this failure.

Selfishly, I’m most interested in what is happening to the suppliers. The Government has now stepped in to try and help, however, supply chains being what they are, I suspect very few of us supplied Carillion directly, more likely we were much further down the line. In some ways, that should help insulate many of us from the worst, however it also means I would not hold my breath for any of that Government money.

Carillion is a rare case due to its size but perhaps, as the Government have now been landed with this burden, they might spot the wider problem that it is all too easy for companies to rack up large debts then fold, leaving everyone else high and dry. It happens far too often.

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