2021 industrial laser revenues look positive

July 21, 2021
It’s beginning to look like year-end reviews of the global manufacturing economy will marvel at how the industrial laser industry survived COVID-19 restrictions and went on to have a record year.
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It’s beginning to look like year-end reviews of the global manufacturing economy will marvel at how the industrial laser industry survived COVID-19 restrictions and went on to have a record year. A strong 4th quarter of 2020 generated increased early laser 2021 revenues encouraging the investment community. China, recovering early from the pandemic, had a strong last quarter of 2020, leading to an increased first-half 2021 revenue picture. The U.S. industry is surprisingly strong and coping well with a weak employment situation. Europe is also recovering slowly. The first half of 2021 will exceed expectations and we are thinking that our projection (+5%) for end-of-year 2021 revenues may have been too pessimistic—unless spreading COVID-19 variants cause a change in the manufacturing outlook and revenue growth halts.

Jack Gabzdyl (Trumpf Laser UK) has been an editorial contributor to Industrial Laser Solutions since August 1998, when he made the first of many contributions to the magazine. This article, co-written with then-fellow BOC Gases employee Dennis Sullivan, dealt with high-pressure gas systems for laser cutting stainless steel. Since then, Jack went on to submit, or co-submit, 17 editorial pieces on a variety of subjects, up to last year’s nanosecond laser engraving review. If you are thinking Jack is my go-to guy when I need editorial, you would be partially right, as on more than one occasion he has bailed me out when another author failed to submit on time.

This likely would not have occurred if Jack had not been a long-time Industrial Laser Solutions supporter, knowledgeable about cutting-edge applications. His articles have been timely, educational, and well-written; I can always count on him to have something interesting to write about. In this issue, his record 18th contribution (second only to Industrial Laser Solutions Editorial Advisor Ron Schaeffer) describes the various cutting processes that can be achieved with pulsed fiber laser sources processing a range of metallic and nonmetallic materials (see article).

So, a belated thank-you, Jack, for being a good friend and for always being ready to advance the technology of industrial laser processing.

About the Author

David Belforte | Contributing Editor

David Belforte (1932-2023) was an internationally recognized authority on industrial laser materials processing and had been actively involved in this technology for more than 50 years. His consulting business, Belforte Associates, served clients interested in advanced manufacturing applications. David held degrees in Chemistry and Production Technology from Northeastern University (Boston, MA). As a researcher, he conducted basic studies in material synthesis for high-temperature applications and held increasingly important positions with companies involved with high-technology materials processing. He co-founded a company that introduced several firsts in advanced welding technology and equipment. David's career in lasers started with the commercialization of the first industrial solid-state laser and a compact CO2 laser for sheet-metal cutting. For several years, he led the development of very high power CO2 lasers for welding and surface treating applications. In addition to consulting, David was the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Industrial Laser Solutions magazine (1986-2022) and contributed to other laser publications, including Laser Focus World. He retired from Laser Focus World in late June 2022.

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