Fiber Lasers Will Capture a Large Share of the Industrial Laser Market by 2010, Says Strategies Unlimited

Mountain View, CA — The fiber laser, a laser technology that uses only optical fiber and no conventional optics, is finally set to capture a large share of the $2 billion industrial laser market from conventional laser technologies, even in the prominent kilowatt-class laser market.Sales of fiber lasers are expected to have unusually strong compound annual growth of over 35% through 2010 in an industrial laser market that will grow just 9% per year over the same period.This is one of the conclusions of a new report from Strategies Unlimited, the leading market research firm covering optoelectronics markets.The timing is propitious for fiber laser suppliers, since they can seize market share from sales of solid-state and other lasers in several key laser applications that will see steady growth in coming years.

The fiber laser is made from a long optical fiber, which has good thermal properties and allows easy integration of all-fiber components and pump diodes, instead of using crystal rods, gas tubes, and conventional optics.The design is generally more efficient, more compact, and more reliable that conventional lasers, and the life cycle cost is competitive compared to solid-state and even gas lasers. Fiber laser products are now used in applications as varied as product marking, razor blade welding, metal cutting, pre-press equipment, and dermatology.The U.S. Army has used a fiber laser atop a Humvee in Iraq for destroying unexploded ordnance.

IPG Photonics has the dominant market share in fiber lasers, making most of its own key components.SPI Lasers is another well-known and pure-play supplier.A striking feature of the fiber laser market is that the usual large laser suppliers are not prominent suppliers of fiber lasers.Laser market leaders, such as Coherent, Newport, Trumpf, and Rofin-Sinar, do not offer a fiber laser product today.JDS Uniphase does manufacture fiber lasers, but does not have strong market share.Instead, privately-held IPG Photonics approached the $100 million revenue mark in 2005, making it among the top10 laser manufacturers in the world.If all goes well in 2006, it could be among the top five.

“The fiber laser is the next generation of laser technology that provides most of the advantages and eliminates many of the disadvantages of the conventional solid-state laser,” says Tom Hausken, director of components research at Strategies Unlimited.“However, the machine tool business that these lasers serve is a notoriously cautious and slowly-changing craft industry.It’s all about throughput, life cycle cost, low maintenance, and application support.The customer isn’t impressed with the laser itself, only with what the system can do.”

Fiber Laser Market Review and Forecast—2006, available now,reviews the technology, applications, key 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 on +1 650 941-3438 (voice) or +1 650 941-5120 (fax), e‑mail at info@strategies‑u.com, or check the company's web site at www.strategies-u.com.

Founded in 1979, Strategies Unlimited specializes in market research and strategic consulting directed at optoelectronics, photovoltaic components and systems, optical networking, and compound semiconductors. The company, based in Mountain View, California, and its affiliate, KMI Research, are research units of PennWell Corporation, a global media and information company serving the energy and advanced technology markets since 1910.PennWell publishes over 45 periodicals including Industrial Laser Solutions, Vision Systems Design, Laser Focus World, Lightwave, and Solid State Technology.For further information, go to www.pennwell.com.

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