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Lasers can now be regarded as practical and economic tools with unique properties which have been utilized effectively in several applications in industry. Major applications of the laser are in thermal processes and measurements. Large amounts of concentrated energy allow microdrilling, welding, cutting, and fracturing to be simply effected in even the hardest materials. The coherence properties provide ideal sources for alignment instruments and interferometers for accurate length measurement. This paper describes these applications and their typical capabilities. Future developments and their potential are discussed, with the conclusion that the laser will be increasingly used in the manufacturing environment.