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Global Laser Processing Industry

Global Laser Processing Industry

  • September 2020
  • 445 pages
  • ID: 5798980
  • Format: PDF
  • Global Industry Analysts

Summary

Table of Contents

MARKET IMPACT SURVEY - COVID-19 & LOOMING RECESSION

Timely market intelligence is paramount in these uncertain times!

We launched an impact survey to update this project with timely insights during 2020. Update frequency will depend upon evolving market conditions and executive opinions. Our participants are executives driving strategy, marketing, sales and product management at competitive companies worldwide. All updates during the rest of the year are complimentary to clients!

The global market for Laser Processing is projected to reach US$16.9 billion by 2025 driven by growing importance of precision manufacturing as manufacturing worldwide comes under the intense challenge of increasing design tolerances. The manufacturing industry is at a stage were efficiency and quality are the only two factors that will drive competitiveness. Product tolerances are becoming tighter than ever across myriad industries ranging from medical equipment, transportation, oil & gas to the military. Manufacturers currently face the challenge of eliminating variations in the production of parts and components and ensure repeatability and reproducibility of machined parts in high volume production scenarios. Machining is the critical process that makes or breaks conformance of products to specifications. Defined as the process where the workpiece is molded and formed into the desired shape and size, machining requires high performance measuring and measurement repeatability to ensure that all products are machined with zero levels of variations. When the mean value (u) of the dimensions of a machined part is closer to the true value of the part’s specification, then trueness or accuracy will be high. Production lines everywhere in virtually every industrial vertical are rapidly moving towards precision and ultra-precision manufacturing. Precision engineering involves the use of technologies such as advanced CNC and milling machinery; CAD software tools; laser processing; automation technologies; optical metrology; among others. With accuracy, precision, trueness, repeatability and reproducibility being buzzwords for production success, faster turnarounds and efficiency, these machining technologies are essential to obtain the highest form of surface quality and shape.

The market stands to benefit from the robust demand for precision parts in myriad industries such as aerospace, automotive, electronics and semiconductors, healthcare, watches, construction, defense, marine and offshoring, heavy equipment, and power tools, among others. Stringent device safety regulations like in the medical devices industry; miniaturization like in the semiconductors and electronics industry; performance and quality specifications like in the automotive and aerospace industry are all factors driving demand for precision parts and components. Also, development of new substrate materials such as new metals and alloys; ceramics; carbon fiber etc. are pushing up the complexity of machining, driving the need for advanced machining technologies to shape material into precision parts.  Laser processing defined as the use of laser technology, is a major precision machining technology. Benefits of laser processing driving its adoption as a preferred precision machining technology include zero risk of ejected material and debris damaging the surface and reduced need for post-processing; lower risk of damage to delicate parts; clean machining with no thermal fingerprint on the workpiece; zero impact on the material’s physical characteristics; consumes less energy even when cutting and machining tough materials like steel and aluminium; faster and more precise cutting; ability to machine complex shapes with precision; ability to cut very small dimension holes with high quality edge detail; less wastages and more productive use of materials.  Since lasers generate focused heat only in a small area they leave behind no thermal signatures like warping or distortion.

Laser has and will continue to witness technology developments, with the most notable being the development of ultra-short femtosecond (fs) laser; multi-axis laser processing; femtosecond laser processing; fiber optic lasers; pulsed lasers; picosecond lasers; nanosecond lasers, among others. New innovations in laser cutting machines are aimed at enhancing quality of cutting, performance and speed. Improvements in nozzle design and airflow control; position control; numerical control are all helping push the performance of laser cutting machines. To enhance the cutting rate, high power lasers are being developed. CO2 lasers are also being developed for efficient machining of metals and dielectrics. CO2 lasers are gaining momentum in various industrial applications, especially in cutting of non-metallic materials, supported by benefits such as pollution free and safe. With continuous improvements in CO2 lasers from 2D to 3D, the number of laser processing stations engaged in laser cutting and engraving is increasing. 3D spatial curve laser cutting is finding rapid adoption in automobile and aerospace industries. Metallurgy is also emerging as an attractive end-user for laser processing wherein high power lasers are used in metallurgical processes such as preparation of refractory metals, re-melting of high-temperature materials, growth of single crystals, processing of powder materials, among others. Thin film processing is also emerging as a major application area for laser processing. In the hugely competitive electronics industry characterized by blistering pace of technology change, to remain competitive manufactures need to produce products that are small, lightweight, and power efficient. The growing importance of miniaturization is thereby driving interest in micromachining using laser processing. A large chunk of opportunities in the coming years will also come from increasing use of laser beam sources in additive manufacturing. Categories of additive manufacturing where lasers are making an impact include laser metal deposition (LMD), selective Laser Sintering (SLS), direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), and 3D laser cladding. The United States and China represent large markets worldwide with a combined share of 48.7% of the global market. China ranks as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 10.3% over the analysis period, as the country readies to take its next big leap in manufacturing by leveraging on technology to innovate and ascend higher up the industrial ladder. From being the workshop of the world, China is now rapidly moving up the value chain to emerge into a global contender in the production of high-tech, higher value industrial products such as engines, agricultural machinery, machine tools, and pharmaceuticals.  This marks the shift in focus away from low and mid-tech industries such as, textiles, smartphones, optical instruments and consumer durables. The Made in China (MIC) 2025 initiative aims to bring the country’s massive manufacturing and production sector into the forefront of global technology competitiveness.

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