The companies that make up the German VDMA Laser and Laser Systems for Material Processing working committee produced more €767 million turnover in 2013, 8 per cent more than the previous year, according to the latest VDMA figures presented at Lasys in Stuttgart on 24 June. Gerhard Hein, managing director of the VDMA working committee, presented the data at the show.
Incoming orders grew by 4 per cent in 2013, while exports of laser systems rose by 20 per cent. Günther Braun, CEO of Rofin-Sinar Technologies, commented at Lasys that China has developed into Europe’s most important trading partner, and, together, the two regions represent nearly half of all laser sales worldwide.
According to figures from Optech Consulting of Tägerwilen, Switzerland, the world market for laser systems reached €8 billion in 2013, with Europe, which consumes around 30 per cent of the market for laser systems, seeing 10 per cent increase in demand.
The automotive sector was highlighted as the driving force for laser technology in both Europe and USA. Dr Christoph Ullmann, managing director at Laserline noted that automotive production has almost returned to record levels in the USA and forecasts remain good. He also said that there is now a tendency to transfer production previously outsourced to Asia back to the USA.
It was also noted during the show by Klaus Löffler, international sales director at Trumpf Laser- und Systemtechnik, that the conflict in the Ukraine and the turbulent relations between Russia and the EU represents a risk to laser companies. Hein of the VDMA added that the situation in the Ukraine is making it hard to predict how the German laser market will develop in the near future, although he said that machine tool consumption is predicted to grow by 4 per cent in 2014 which can be transferred to the laser industry.
The fourth Lasys trade fair saw a total of 5,500 visitors over the three days of the show from 24-26 June, a rise of 4 per cent. The Lasers in Action forum, organised by Laser Systems Europe, had more than 400 visitors to the 40 presentations.