May 3, 2017

Laser market still on track for growth


This year, the market researchers at Strategies Unlimited expect the global laser market to grow by 6.6 percent. Revenue amounted to 10.4 billion US dollars last year.

In a current forecast for the global laser market, Strategies Unlimited promises strong growth. Following total revenue of 10.4 billion dollars last year, the analysts expect revenue to grow by 6.6 percent in 2017, to 11.1 billion dollars.

In their market analysis, which was published in the technical journal LaserFocusWorld, the experts describe a maturing market in which consolidation is advancing. According to the analysis, many companies in the market were using targeted acquisitions and mergers to expand their expertise, vertical integration and intellectual property. Their strategic objective was to advance from laser supplier to system manufacturer. According to Strategies Unlimited, they are positioning themselves for future markets: Either in autonomous vehicles, which will trigger a massive demand for laser-based optical sensors. Or in 3D printing (additive manufacturing) of metal and plastic components using laser-based welding and sintering processes. Or in laser-assisted diagnostics and therapies, which are increasingly in demand in aging societies, laser-based lithography in the manufacture of semiconductors and microelectronics, laser-assisted optical data transmission with increasing bandwidths, or the equally rapidly expanding laser-assisted digital printing.

Growth on all fronts

With revenue of around 4 billion dollars, material processing and lithography were the industry’s most important market segments in 2016, followed by optical communications technology with revenue of 3.73 billion dollars. Lasers in research (877 million dollars), medicine, plastic and cosmetic surgery (838 million dollars), measurement and sensor technology (608 million dollars), and entertainment and printing applications (268 million dollars) were, however, also strong once again.

The analysts also expect to see significant growth in all these segments in 2017. For example, revenue in material processing and lithography could increase by 300 million dollars. Fiber lasers show high single-digit growth here, and demand for diode and excimer lasers is expected to increase by over 50 percent. In communications, the analysts expect to see revenue growing by more than 130 million dollars, with a EUR 50 million increase in research and an increase of EUR 120 million in medical and cosmetic applications. Strategies Unlimited’s analysis also shows the remaining segments in the global laser market remaining on a path of stable growth through 2017.