Global Demand for Industrial Lasers Reaches $ 3.2 bn

2015 global market laser materials processing in billion US dollars (Source: Optech Cons.)

2015 global market laser materials processing in billion US dollars (Source: Optech Cons.)

The global market for lasers for materials processing reached 3.2 billion US dollars (2.9 bn euros) in 2015. The market is up from $ 3.15 bn (€ 2.4 bn) in 2014. The market increased by 2 % in US dollars and by 22 % in euros. The difference in the growth rates is due to the euro to US dollar exchange which increased by 20 % in 2015 versus the previous year.

While the laser market increased by 2 % in 2015 on a US-dollars basis the laser systems market trended sideward at $ 11.8 bn. The average value share of a laser in a system increased slightly from 26.5 % in 2014 to 27 % in 2015. The increase ended a period of several years with markedly decreasing laser prices due to intense competition in the market. The compe­tition was caused by fiber lasers entering estab­lished applic­ations of other laser types and aggressive product pricing by new entrants to the fiber laser market.

Fiber lasers for materials processing reached a global market volume of $ 1.16 bn in 2015, up from $ 940 m in the year before. This puts the share of fiber lasers in materials processing at 37 % for 2015, up from about 30 % in 2014. Only ten years earlier, in 2005, the market share of fiber lasers in materials processing was a mere 4 %. Other solid state lasers accounted for a 26 % share of the market in 2015. This includes diode-pumped solid state lasers of various wavelengths, ultrafast solid state lasers, disk lasers, flashlamp-pumped lasers, as well as direct-diode lasers. The gas laser segment, accounting for a 37 % share, comprises excimer lasers and CO2 lasers. Excimer lasers are mainly used for micro­litho­graphy and flat panel display annealing, where they offer parameters not easily available from other laser types.

In contrast, CO2 lasers have been a major target for replace­ment by fiber lasers. This situation is expected to change. While high power CO2 lasers in cutting and welding have already been replaced to a large extent by fiber lasers, low power CO2 lasers are not an easy target for replacement. These are mainly used for non-metal processing applic­ations where their wavelength offers advantages. Also in EUV micro­litho­graphy, CO2 lasers are preferred versus other laser types due to wavelength reasons. Conse­quently, fiber laser manu­facturers now focus their efforts more on competing with solid-state and diode lasers. Fiber laser manufacturers also target at new applications such as additive manufacturing, besides pushing sales in cutting and marking by lower laser prices.

(Source: Optech Consulting / photonicsviews.com)

(Source: Optech Consulting / photonicsviews.com)

For 2016 Optech Consulting expects a sideward trending global market for industrial lasers. The expec­tation follows the presently available data indicating a subdued trend of the laser systems market at the beginning of the year combined with weakening demand in China.

Link: Preview: Stuttgart Laser Marketplace ’16, June 1, 2016, Trade Fair Centre Stuttgart

Further reading: Global Industrial Laser Systems Market Grows by 10 %, photonicsviews.com, 31st March 2016Global Market Laser Systems for Materials Processing Increases 8 % to US$ 11.6b in 2014, photonicsviews.com, 1st April 2015

 

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