Fiber laser sales to grow 26 percent annually through 2011; some large questions remain
Fiber laser sales are on track to pass $240 million this year, a growth of 39 percent over 2006, with robust growth continuing through 2011 at a rate of 26 percent, which will more than double the 2007 sales value, say analysts at market researcher Strategies Unlimited in Mountain View, Calif.
By John Keller
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—Fiber laser sales are on track to pass $240 million this year, a growth of 39 percent over 2006, with robust growth continuing through 2011 at a rate of 26 percent, which will more than double the 2007 sales value, say analysts at market researcher Strategies Unlimited in Mountain View, Calif.
This should come as welcome news to the nearly 40 suppliers of fiber lasers, as well as to the many suppliers of gain blocks and laser components. The industrial laser market in which fiber lasers play will grow at nearly 10 percent per year over the same period, Strategies Unlimited analysts say.
While much of the gain of fiber lasers come at the expense of suppliers of solid-state lasers, suppliers of the other laser types will see steady growth as well, amounting to about 7 percent per year through 2011.
The strongest gains for fiber lasers will be in high-power metals processing and in micro materials processing, a diverse set of mid-power and pulsed applications.
This year several prominent laser suppliers announced fiber laser products, including GSI, Newport, Rofin-Sinar, and Trumpf. These announcements add credibility to the new technology, which is dominated by IPG Photonics.
Many key questions remain, such as how fast and how much market share can kilowatt fiber lasers gain from carbon dioxide lasers in sheet metal cutting? And, how much vertical integration is necessary to succeed in the fiber laser market?
“Over the last year we had the opportunity to examine more closely the many applications where fiber lasers may play, and we have been able to fine-tune our estimates,” says Tom Hausken, director of components research at Strategies Unlimited. “There are many applications where a fiber laser is not a good solution, and many where fiber lasers are already doing well. What remains are the many applications where the questions are still unresolved.”
Strategies Unlimited’s report, “Fiber Laser Market Review and Forecast—2007,” reviews the technology, applications, trends, markets, and suppliers of fiber lasers. It presents forecasts by application and laser type, including unit sales and price projections, along with estimates of revenues and market shares of key suppliers. For more information, contact Strategies Unlimited online at www.strategies-u.com.