McLean, VA, September 14, 2004--Shipments of industrial-laser equipment and systems to North America and U.S. exports were up 75% to $173.6 million in the second quarter of 2004 compared to the same period a year ago, according to the Laser Systems Product Group (LSPG) of the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT). Shipments within North America by the 41 companies reporting to LSPG's statistical program totaled $119.8 million, while exports amounted to $53.8 million.
The LSPG research found that shipment of CO2 lasers increased nearly 50% for the second quarter of 2004, while Nd:YAG lasers were up 130% compared to second-quarter 2003. The report also shows cutting applications as the largest source of industrial laser activity in second-quarter 2004, accounting for about 55% of all shipments. Also, nearly 70% of industrial lasers shipped in 2Q04 were CO2 type, and nearly 90% of total shipments were configured a laser system, which is defined as a laser source and workstation.
"Productivity and cost reduction are driving capital investment in 2004, which is why laser orders are up 60% through the first six months. Investing in the latest manufacturing technology is what will keep American manufacturing competitive," says Dave Plourde, LSPG chairman and vice president of sales for Preco Laser Systems.
Dollar figures are based on data supplied by contributors to LSPG's statistical survey. According to the AMT, the year-on-year percent change in CO2 and Nd:YAG lasers reflects the contributions of only those companies that participated in the statistical program in the second quarters of both 2003 and 2004. The report doesn't include increased shipments caused by the addition of new program participants in the second quarter of 2004.