High power diode lasers from a few Watts up to several Kilowatts have entered industrial manufacturing environment for materials processing applications. The technology has proven to show unique features, e.g. high efficiency, small size, low energy consumption and high reliability. In the first part of this paper a short description of state-of- the-art high power diode laser technology and applications is provided and the benefits and restrictions of this laser technology will be evaluated. For large scale penetration into the manufacture market, the restrictions, especially the rather poor beam quality of high power diode lasers compared to conventional lasers have to be overcome. Also, the specialities of the high power diode lasers, i.e. their modular structure and their extremely small size have to be translated into laser manufacturing technology. The further improvement of high power diode lasers as well as the development of new diode laser specific manufacturing technologies are the essential topics of a National German Minister Priority Project entitled 'Modular Diode Laser Beam Tools': 22 Partners from industry and institutions, 4 semiconductor experts, 5 laser manufacturers and 14 applicants are working together in frame of this project to work out and transfer a joint strategy and system technology to the benefits of the future of high power diode laser technology. The goals, the structure and the work of this project will be described in the second part of this paper.