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03 Nov, 2023, Company News

Overview of the Laser Industry Development and Analysis of Market Trends

Overview of the Laser Industry Development and Analysis of Market Trends

1. Analysis of the Laser Industry Chain

Laser technology, known for its precise wavelength, high intensity, and focused beam, is widely utilized in both military and civilian sectors. In civilian industries such as machinery, automotive, aviation, steel, shipbuilding, and electronics, laser processing technology is gradually replacing conventional methods. Meanwhile, laser energy weapons have emerged as innovative weaponry, gaining significant support and development from various nations.

China has witnessed the continuous advancement of its laser industry, resulting in the establishment of a comprehensive industry chain. The upstream sector encompasses laser crystals, optical lenses, diverse laser types, and numerical control systems. The midstream sector comprises laser cutting machines, laser welding machines, and other laser equipment. Lastly, the downstream sector involves material processing, electronic information, and other application industries.

Laser devices, situated in the middle of the industry chain, play a crucial role in generating lasers. They primarily consist of three core components: pump sources, gain media, and resonant cavities. The pump source supplies light energy, the gain media amplifies the light energy absorbed from the pump source, and the resonant cavity functions as the loop between the pump light source and the gain media, oscillating and emitting laser beams.

2. Global Laser Market Size

In 2018, the global laser market size was approximately 13.75 billion USD, with a compound annual growth rate of 11.14% from 2009 to 2018. Currently, due to the excellent advantages of laser products and their wide range of applications, the global laser market is experiencing steady growth, with an expanding market capacity and significant growth potential in the future.

Material processing, communication, and optical storage markets account for about 44.8% and 27.8% of the global laser market downstream demand, respectively. In 2018, the sales revenue of lasers used in material processing, communication, and optical storage was 6.16 billion USD and 3.82 billion USD, accounting for 44.8% and 27.8% of the global laser revenue, respectively. The remaining revenue from research and military, medical and beauty, instruments and sensors, and other markets was 1.28 billion USD, 1.03 billion USD, 1.02 billion USD, and 0.44 billion USD, accounting for 9.3%, 7.5%, 7.4%, and 3.2% of the global laser revenue, respectively.

Industrial lasers are the main application area for lasers, accounting for 36.77% of the total market size in 2018. The sales revenue of various types of industrial lasers worldwide continued to grow from 2013 to 2018, reaching 5.058 billion USD in 2018, with a year-on-year growth rate of 4.18%. The proportion of the global laser industry accounted for by industrial lasers increased from 27.74% in 2013 to 36.77% in 2018. Industrial lasers are mainly used in cutting, metal welding, marking, semiconductor, and precision metal processing. Among them, the cutting sector in material processing accounts for about one-third of the global industrial laser market demand.

Fiber lasers currently have the highest market share among laser types, and semiconductor/excimer lasers have the fastest growth rate. In 2018, the revenue of fiber lasers increased by 6% to reach 2.603 billion USD, accounting for 51.46% of the total revenue of industrial lasers. Currently, the application of fiber lasers in the field of material processing is mainly focused on three markets: high-power processing, micro-processing, and laser marking. New types of lasers, such as direct semiconductor lasers and excimer lasers, have also experienced rapid development in recent years, with sales revenue of 0.845 billion USD in 2018. Their market share increased from 4.3% in 2009 to 16.7% in 2018, indicating significant future development potential.

3. Chinese Laser Market Size

In 2018, the domestic laser market in China surpassed 8 billion RMB, and it is projected to reach 12.1 billion RMB by 2020.

When it comes to market competition, the laser market shows a relatively high concentration, with the top three domestic companies holding 75% of the market share. Among them, IPG holds 49%, Raycus Laser holds 17%, and Chuangxin Laser holds 9%. Coherent, NKT Photonics, JPT Opto-electronics, and Feibo Laser each have a market share of over 2%.

4. Future Development Trends of the Laser Industry

For laser devices in the upstream sector, such as laser crystals, the future development trends mainly focus on the following:

As for midstream lasers, the future development trends include:

Regarding downstream laser equipment, the future development trends are as follows:

  1. High-power laser equipment finds broad applications and experiences rapid development. Similar to low-power laser processing equipment, high-power laser equipment is used for various functions such as laser welding, cutting, and surface hardening of metals. Its applications span across industries, including automotive, fitness equipment, rail transportation, aerospace, and agricultural machinery.
  2. With the emergence of new materials and structures, laser welding technology is transitioning towards more efficient processes to meet the demand for lightweight, integrated structural component manufacturing, precision manufacturing, and cost-effective processes, especially in the field of integrated composites.
  3. High-power laser cutting, compared to plasma cutting and flame cutting, offers significant advantages and is expected to replace punch presses as the mainstream cutting equipment. Laser welding is also anticipated to gradually replace other methods in the automotive welding field. Currently, the main automotive welding methods include resistance spot welding, CO2 gas shielded welding, laser welding, argon arc welding, and resistance projection welding. As automobiles evolve towards lightweight and high-strength designs, high-strength steel plates and alloy steels are being applied in body materials, and laser welding demonstrates superior effects on such materials.

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