China and the Asia Pacific market is currently a hot-bed of activity for the industrial laser systems market. The region was recently named as the fastest growing geographical market in a report by Transparency Market Research and a Sino-German symposium has been held by the Fraunhofer institute in Aachen, Germany to enable international co-operative projects to improve additive manufacturing processes.
With the Laser World of Photonics China exhibition being held on 17-19 March 2015 and the increasing amount of photonics activity in the area, all eyes are on Asia.
The latest story is that Blackbird Robotersysteme – a subsidiary of Scanlab that produces remote laser welding solutions – has boosted its presence in the region by establishing a sales and service centre in Shanghai in order to better serve local customers, as well as being positioned to supply Japan and Korea. The new office will be organised by Derek Wang as vice president sales and technical support Asia when activity starts on 1 March 2015.
‘Many of our customers operate production facilities in China. To provide them with the expected local support and prompt solutions to technical challenges, we've been planning an Asian presence for some time. With Derek Wang on board, we now have the seasoned industry expert we need to start quickly in China,’ explains Dr Wolfgang Vogl, CEO of Blackbird Robotersysteme.
Elsewhere, Lichtenfels, Germany-based Concept Laser, in its 2014 financial report, has said that China is one of the fastest growing markets for its Lasercusing process – an additive manufacturing (AM) technique that creates mechanically and thermally stable metallic components for markets such as aerospace. In order to capitalise on this growth, Concept Laser said that there are concrete plans to increase the company’s presence in the area with more staff and infrastructure. Concept Laser recorded a 75 per cent increase in sales and plans to expand its AM capacity.
Additive manufacturing is growing globally, and Asia is no exception to the rule. It was announced late last year that South East Asia’s largest additive manufacturing facility is to be opened in Singapore as part of Ultra Clean Holdings’ (UCT) new 3D printing service. The new offering was reinforced by UCT’s acquisition of Prototype Asia.
Prototype Asia said at the time that its services will not be disrupted through the handover period, and, as part of UCT, the company will benefit from new technologies. The rapid prototyping company expects UCT’s 3D printing service to bring a wider choice of materials and technologies to Singapore over the coming months.
This year, Topwin was purchased by US-based Electro Scientific Industries (ESI) in January, and one of the reasons behind the deal was expertise of the Chinese market, and the want to increase ESI’s presence in the area.