Industrial Laser Shipments Rise
Daniel C. McCarthy
Shipments and exports of North American industrial laser equipment and systems rebounded in the second quarter, advancing 47 percent over the figure for the first three months of 2002, according to the Laser Systems Product Group of the Association for Manufacturing Technology. Although second-quarter figures were 10 percent lower than they were last year, they signaled a narrowing gap: The first quarter of 2002 had lagged 40 percent behind its 2001 counterpart.
For the 46 companies in the group's database, industrial laser equipment and system shipments within North America amounted to $100 million during the second quarter this year, while exports drew $32 million. Most shipments -- 85 percent -- included both a laser source and workstation, and most applications -- 60 percent -- involved cutting.
The volume of cutting applications predictably favored CO2 lasers, which accounted for 60 percent of the second-quarter market and gained nearly 15 percent in volume over year-earlier levels. Nd:YAG lasers, which fill both cutting and marking applications, dropped 30 percent.
The group does not track excimer shipments because there are fewer than five North American suppliers, and one controls more than 40 percent of the market.
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