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Optech Consulting
Global market for Industrial Laser Systems worth US$10 Billion

The global market for laser systems for materials processing surpassed the ten billion dollar mark in 2011 reaching a volume of US$ 10.1 billion. The market is 28% ahead of its 2010 volume, and 90% above its size in the crisis year 2009. East Asia presently reports by far the highest growth rates, with steeply growing
demand for laser systems in China, Korea and Taiwan. Laser system demand also accelerates in other countries with high growth rates of industrial production such as India and Brazil.

optechenglThemarket comprises laser systems for macro processing, mainly for cutting, welding and marking, worth about US$ 7 billion, and laser systems for micro processing, for the production of semiconductors, flat panel displays, printed circuit boards, and solar cells, worth about US$ 3 billion. Both segments contribute to the booming growth.

In macro processing, high power solid state lasers including fiber and disk lasers presently set the major trend with their surging market share in cutting, the largest application segment in laser materials processing. While not yet suited for all cutting applications, solid state lasers lead to advantages mainly for cutting of thin metal sheets, they are welcome in the market. One major reason for this is the low power consumption of these lasers.

While high power CO2 lasers, the established work horses of laser cutting, have an electrical efficiency of less than 10% and consume up to 100 kW of electrical power, the power consumption of fiber and disk lasers is about five times lower. Trumpf, one of the market leaders, already equips more than 10% of its sheet metal cutting machines with disk lasers. A similar percentage is estimated for the average of the other manufacturers of sheet metal cutting systems, which mainly use fiber lasers. The breakthrough of the new lasers in high power cutting comes many years after their success in welding where fiber, disk and diode lasers already dominate the market.

Laser micro processing contributed to market growth in 2011 as well, spurred by increased application in major segments. In the semiconductor and printed circuit board industry lasers take a crucial role for the continued decrease of feature sizes, by direct ablative structuring and by the exposure of photoresist. Lasers are also increasingly used for the production of flat panel displays, including high-resolution screens for smartphones und tablet computers, as well as large LCD and OLED displays for television sets. Another growing application field for laser micro processing is the production of solar cells where laser structuring helps to increase cell efficiency.

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 News - 24.04.2014
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