Shipments of industrial laser equipment and systems for North America and US exports were down 10 percent in the first quarter of 2001, compared with the same quarter last year. The Laser Systems Product Group of the Association for Manufacturing Technology reports that 47 member companies reported a total of $152.4 million in shipments in the first quarter. CO2 lasers took the biggest hit, dropping 20 percent from last year's first quarter, while Nd:YAGs managed to eke out a 1 percent gain. The group did not provide specific figures for excimer or other laser types. Cutting applications remain the largest impetus for industrial laser transactions, accounting for nearly 45 percent of all shipments, the group found.