The global laser processing market size was estimated to be over USD 9.5 billion in 2014. The market is expected to witness significant growth owing to growing adoption of lasers for material processing. Adoption of this technology in manufacturing processes offers high-speed as well as accurate industrial processes.
Government regulations pertaining to the use of this technology in engraving as well as marking of products are also anticipated to impact favorably growth. Growing use of laser drilling in oil & gas exploration fields is expected to impact favorably the industry. Advancements in power and lesser operating costs, coupled with improved edge quality & cutting speeds are expected to open avenues for the use of this technology.
Global Biotechnology market revenue, by application, 2013
Product segment includes fiber lasers, gas lasers, and solid-state lasers. Gas lasers consist of copper, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, argon-ion, nitrogen, and helium-neon lasers.
Solid-state lasers are further segregated into small diode-pumped Nd: YAG or Nd: YVO4 lasers, Q-switched Nd: YAG lasers, larger lasers in side-pumped or end-pumped configurations, and single-frequency operations. The solid state lasers are based on glasses or crystals along with transition, rare earth metal ions, and semiconductor lasers. Fiber laser development also enables the manufacturers to leverage the benefits of the technology in their production applications.
The industry covers every aspect of laser & material processing, which includes hybrid processes, implementation as well as the development of laser beam welding, surface modifications, micro drilling, micro deposition, direct manufacturing & forming, ablation of bulk material & coatings, and cutting & machining.
This technology proves beneficial for the mining & drilling activities, particularly crude oil extraction. For instance, key development areas offered by Aerotech include controls, mechanics, and laser controls, which further provide system integrators, OEMs, and end-users with the process of etching, welding, marking systems, and cutting systems. The company also offers solutions for 2.5D, 3D and 2D welding, cutting and varied machining applications. Adoption of water jet cutting technology yields a smooth cutting surface & narrow cuts, thereby increasing the total process efficiency and boosting market growth.
Application segment includes automotive, aerospace, OEMs, electronics & microelectronics, medical treatment devices, and packaging.
High demand in microelectronics and medical industry is expected to be responsible for industry growth.
Medical devices segment is expected to emerge as a lucrative one, projected to grow at a CAGR of 9% over the forecast period. Welding is expected to play a significant role in the medical devices manufacturing. Key applications include implantable devices, pacemakers, and surgical tools, which require ultra-fine wires and non-porous & sterile surfaces, which are used in cardiac procedures.
Drilling is anticipated to emerge as an important method in applications such as large depth-to-diameter ratio as used for surgical needles or drug delivery systems. Manufacturers lay more emphasis on the use of these systems to drill, weld, cut, and mark micro-sized parts. Miniaturization is a key trend of the medical device market. With the advancements in technology, medical devices tend to become complex and smaller.
In addition, emerging applications in oil & gas, automotive sector, and surging electronics demand are expected to strengthen industry growth. Laser cutting increases the quality of cutting edges, high processing speeds, and low heat input into the material for the automotive segment.
Applications also include extensive use of lasers for cutting the automotive industry’s lightweight and Ultra-High-Strength Steels (UHSS), which are used to make smaller and fuel-efficient automobiles stronger and much safer.
Asia Pacific laser processing market accounted for over 40% of the overall revenue share in 2014 and is expected to witness substantial growth owing to the increasing number of OEMs in the region. China, in particular, is expected to emerge as the key user of industrial lasers & systems for materials processing.
Government regulations related to permanent & clear mark on consumer goods are expected to result in wider adoption of this technology across varied regions. Furthermore, increased adoption in the automotive sector is also anticipated to boost demand in the European region.
Competitive Market Share Insights
Key players emphasize on the new product developments to open avenues for increased profitability through better customer relationships. Leading players such as The ROFIN Group is the provider of the entire spectrum of industrial lasers for marking or surface treatment, welding, and cutting. Additionally, the company offers full power spectrum from single digit watts to multi-kilowatts.
Universal laser systems offer products for security agencies and military branches for custom parts fabrication, asset management, and other production & security uses. These systems are also used on military bases, airfields, and naval vessels across the world.
Prominent players include LaserStar Technologies Corporation, Amada Co. Ltd., Technology, IPG Photonics Corporation, Coherent Inc., and Newport Corporation.
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