Global market for lasers remains strong

Analysts expect a lull in the global economy in 2016. Nevertheless, the market researchers from Strategies Unlimited predict a strong laser market.

According to forecasts from Strategies Unlimited, the global market for lasers will continue to enjoy positive growth in 2016 after growing more than six percent last year. The leading market research company for the field of photonics and optical technologies expects the market volume to increase by 4.2 percent to USD 10.49 billion—around EUR 9.40 billion. According to Strategies Unlimited, the market shares of diode and other types of laser will remain the same. The latter account for 57 percent of the global market, while diodes have a 43 percent market share.

Strategies Unlimited Analyst Allen Nogee explains the sustained positive trend in the laser industry by pointing out that companies in industrial and emerging countries are responding to the difficult economic situation by leveraging efficiency potential in production. He says that laser technology is a key technology here. According to Nogee, the laser market for production grew by 6.9 percent in 2015, and fiber lasers by 22 percent. This was clearly detrimental to CO2 and solid state technologies. The expert expects demand for high-performance diodes for welding and cutting processes to grow sharply. All in all, the market for lasers for materials processing and lithography will grow to reach USD 4.26 billion this year. As a result, this area will be much more important for the laser industry than the market for communications and optical storage devices, which in 2015 achieved a volume of USD 3.44 billion and, according to Strategies Unlimited, will grow to reach USD 3.5 billion this year.

Nogee also believes that demand for lasers in science will grow too. As he explains, the market which was worth USD 825 million last year will grow to reach USD 886 million this year. A similar market volume is also expected for lasers used for medical purposes. In this market segment, analysts expect to see a nine percent increase from USD 787 million to USD 859 million. At the same time, the market for lasers used for sensory and analytical purposes will grow by six percent to reach USD 675 million, with the market for lasers for the entertainment sector growing by 19 percent to reach USD 307 million. Clearly, this is growth across the board, allowing the sector to follow on from the economic success of the “Year of Light” last year.

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