New report says low-power laser materials processing market downturn creates opportunities

July 24, 2009--Sales of low-power lasers for so-called micro materials processing will fall by 40% in 2009, but growth will recover in 2010 to exceed $460 million by 2013, along with new opportunities for suppliers, according to a report from optoelectronics market research firm Strategies Unlimited (Mountain View, CA) entitled Lasers for Micro Materials Processing--2009.

July 24, 2009--Sales of low-power lasers for so-called micro materials processing will fall by 40% in 2009, but growth will recover in 2010 to exceed $460 million by 2013, along with new opportunities for suppliers, according to a report from optoelectronics market research firm Strategies Unlimited (Mountain View, CA) entitled Lasers for Micro Materials Processing--2009 (see also "Industrial laser sales to fall 32% in 2009, with fiber lasers faring better than most").

While the market appears at first to be merely scaling to the world economy, the downturn is also likely to disrupt market share in many segments, in a game of musical chairs. The report says that the strongest growth will be in fiber lasers, diode lasers, green lasers, mode-locked (ultrafast) lasers, and lasers for manufacturing solar cells. All segments will see some growth beginning in 2010, but there will be more shuffling of technologies and suppliers than is first apparent, given the evolving situation in these segments.

Coherent, Rofin-Sinar, and GSI Group (including the revenues for Excel Technology for all of 2008) are at the top of the list with over 50% of last year's market share. This is because of the highly fragmented nature of the market. These companies have strong shares in more than one laser technology in this low-power category, while many companies are highly concentrated in just one category, or their sales are split across other application areas not counted in this study.

Lasers for Micro Materials Processing--2009 includes all material processing applications up to 1 kW, but excludes marking and decorative engraving. The report extends its audit to over 120 applications and the wide range of technology solutions in the highly fragmented low-power category. The report examines more segments than ever before, including: end-user sectors, processes, power levels, pulse types, laser types, and wavelengths.

Founded in 1979, Strategies Unlimited specializes in market research and strategic consulting directed at optoelectronics and compound semiconductors. The company is a research unit of PennWell Corporation, a global media and information company serving the energy and advanced technology markets since 1910. PennWell's many brands include Industrial Laser Solutions, Laser Focus World, BioOptics World, Photovoltaics World, Solid State Technology, Vision Systems Design, and Lightwave.

For more information on this report, go to www.strategies-u.com.

--Posted by Gail Overton, gailo@pennwell.com; www.laserfocusworld.com.

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