In 2014 German Engineering Federation VDMA, Laser and Laser Systems division members produced about EUR 852 million of laser-based machines, corresponding to an 11% growth compared with the reference year 2013 (then +8%). The global consolidation, i. e. the output following allowances for the added value created by internationally acting groups, records EUR 1.01 billion, a 10% growth over the previous year’s figures (+9% in 2013). Both analysis, i. e. the restriction to locations in Germany and the said consolidation, underscore a dynamic trend that is considerably greater for the systems equipped with solid-state lasers.
The global market 2014 for laser material processing systems, according to evaluation by Optech Consulting in Switzerland, has grown by strong 8% achieving EUR 8.7 billion.
The 2013 increase of 4% in incoming order volume, decidedly more moderat than in production, soared in 2014 by 20% (!) to an outstanding EUR 1.04 billion, mainly driven by foreign demand.
Also the realized laser system exports proved highly pleasing in 2014, growing by a healthy 16% to a value EUR 664 million and underlining extraordinary competitiveness of German suppliers in the world markets. The share compared to production value rose to a present 78%. Against the 2013 structure – in terms of the contributions made by destination regions and countries to the overall result – renewed growth was recorded by Western European destinations, with particularly powerful contributions from the USA, China and Japan, plus only a slight growth for “Other Asian countries” like India, Korea, Taiwan or Southeast Asia.
EUR 502 million of production volume generated in Germany (+9%) compare well with orders amounting to a strong EUR 519 million (+17%!). The global consolidation of production volume, i. e. after the inclusion of added values represented by internationally operating companies, yields a performance level that is considerably more meaningful, namely EUR 668 million or about a third greater than the result in German itself, as well as a 5% rate of increase. These records are comprising CO2-lasers, solid-state lasers and complete diode lasers for direct application.
This is joined by production volumes contributed by association members for laser diodes in the pre-production stage and for excimer lasers, both forming a joint value of about EUR 238 million (+10%). Excimer lasers are a preferred choice for manufacturing microstructures and in laboratory and medical engineering.
The 2014 exports of laser beam sources recorded a value of EUR 302 million, or a 15% growth. The share compared to production value rose to a present healthy 61%. Against the 2013 structure expressed as destination region and country shares, the Western European and Asian destinations showed marked growth, with Central / Eastern Europe following in moderation. In the USA, the reference year experienced a strong growth caused by punctual large orders. Owing to this base effect, the current US-share proved considerably lower.
The given text and accompanying diagrams on the business development of the industry in 2014 can be downloaded from the internet: see laser.vdma.org, here under “News” as well as “Press Releases”.