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Laser market in China to exceed $10bn.

I attend Laserfair in Shenzhen every year, as it's a good opportunity to network with the Guangdong Laser Industry Association, with whom EPIC has a strong partnership, and talk with the community about the development of the laser market in China.

Apparently the first laser to be successfully developed in China was in 1961, and since then laser technology has spread into many fields. It has made positive contributions to scientific and technological advancement, national economic development, and national defence.

In recent years, the growth of China's laser engineering application market has become a trend indicator for the development of the global laser industry. Laser cutting machines and laser welding machines, in particular, were the two major contributors to China's laser processing market.

According to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics of China, last year's GDP was 82.7 trillion RMB, a year-on-year increase of 6.9 per cent. In the same period, the industrial laser and related products market in China reached 72.1 billion RMB, representing a year-on-year increase of 32.6 per cent, according to data released by Laser Manufacture News. Proportionally, China's laser market is on a rapid growth trend.

According to Laser Manufacture News' 2017 figures, south China's laser market reached 27 billion RMB, followed by 15.5 billion in central China, 15 billion in east China, eight billion in north China, 4.3 billion in northeast China and 2.3 billion in other regions. Therefore, one of the main reasons for EPIC to support the Laserfair exhibition is its strategic location in Shenzhen, is because it is the region with the largest market.

In 2017, the performance of most domestic laser companies showed a trend of substantial growth. Possible reasons for this could be: (1) China's economy has bottomed out and manufacturing is picking up; (2), the government's 13th five-year plan for smart manufacturing, and a series of funding for laser and additive manufacturing research and development; (3), the decrease in procurement costs for laser processing machines has made it more affordable for more users; and (4), the diversification of laser applications has expanded the application market.

After years of development, China has developed more than 200 types of lasers. In 2017, fibre lasers accounted for more than 51 per cent of the global laser market share. According to 'incomplete' statistics from Laser Manufacture News, in 2017, the number of installed fibre lasers was more than 95,000 units. I find it interesting that domestic brands accounted for more than 55 per cent of the market share of low-power fibre lasers. The shipments of the laser cutting machine market were about 11,000 units, among which 9,500 were from domestic brands.

In the future, with the further improvement of the traceability of the product consumption market and product traceability management system, the laser marking market will remain at a relatively high growth rate.

In 2017, the small metal middle frame structure, batteries, and vehicle weight, have jointly stimulated the demand for laser welding. The number of laser welding machines shipped exceeds 6,000 units. It is predicted that laser welding equipment shipments will exceed that of laser cutting machines in 2018.

Two years ago we thought that laser cleaning was a highlight in the market, which proved to be true, as in 2017, shipments of laser cleaning machines were above 700 units, with the current forecast predicting a 20 per cent growth.

The implementation of 'China Made 2025' has opened a huge market for China's laser equipment companies. China is optimistic, as the scale of its industrial laser and related product market is expected to reach almost $10 billion this year. These market figures and forecasts are all from Laser Manufacture News, and it will be interesting to see what the next few years bring ...

By Carlos Lee, director general, EPIC

Caption: EPIC participates in the opening of the 12th Laserfair Shenzhen International Laser and Intelligent Manufacturing Fair
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Title Annotation:NEWS FROM EPIC
Author:Lee, Carlos
Publication:Electro Optics
Date:Jun 1, 2018
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