2020 Laser Market Data
The following information on the 2020 market was published in November 2020. For updated data please see our latest publication: Industrial Laser Systems Market Ends 2020 with a 2% Decrease – Demand in Asia Grows in Spite of COVID
2020 Market for Industrial Lasers and Laser Systems Down 10% – Impact of COVID-19
Published 16th November 2020
The impact of COVID-19 is one of the most discussed topics in many industries including the laser industry. We searched the internet for quantitative data on the impact, but visiting relevant sites did not reveal data beyond company revenues. In the following, we provide a first estimate for the 2020 global market for industrial laser systems and lasers.
The global market for laser systems for materials processing is expected to reach $ 16 billion in 2020. This corresponds to a decrease by 10% vs the USD 17.9 billion we reported in January for the year before. For industrial lasers we also expect a decrease in the range of 10% and a market volume in the range USD 4.0 billion for 2020. The expected decrease for 2020 appears moderate given the grim macroeconomic environment that developed under the impact of COVID-19. The decrease also appears moderate when compared to the massive decrease of global sales of the machine tool industry this year.
Industrial lasers and laser systems are production equipment. Their demand follows the investment cycles of the end industries. Major end industries for industrial lasers and systems include the 3C industry, and especially the mobile electronic devices industry, the automotive industry, as well as a broad range of end industries for major applications such as cutting and marking.
When we entered 2020, the industrial laser and system market was in a continued downturn trend which started mid 2018. The quarterly sales figures of major industrial laser and system suppliers such as IPG Photonics, Coherent, and Han’s Laser, show strong growth in 2017 and a decrease in the second half of 2018. The downturn in the industrial laser and systems market was triggered by deteriorated economic expectations for major end industries, in particular the automotive and the consumer electronics sector.
Many comments have been made about the role of China in the industrial laser market in the last decade. The Chinese market had lead growth rates for industrial lasers and systems for several years, when it markedly decreased in 2019. The increase was driven by wide adoption of laser processes in Chinese manufacturing in a short time. The decrease in 2019 also is a reaction on the rapid growth in the years before. The decrease came with the above mentioned deterioration in major end industries, the trade conflicts, and the partial shift of foreign manufacturing investments to neighboring countries.
The market condition at the beginning of the year laid ground for the moderate decrease by 10% of the industrial laser market in 2020. The market for laser systems for microelectronics processing – for manufacturing semiconductors, flat panel displays, printed circuit boards, and solar cells – had just started to recover from the downturn in 2019. The recovery in the microelectronics processing segment was not halted by COVID, and demand for laser systems in the segment is expected to grow in 2020. However, other segments of the market for industrial laser systems are expected to decrease in 2020, especially those comprising standard machines adding processing capacity rather than being technology buys. The analysis of all market segments combined leads us to the expectation of a 10% decrease for the industrial laser systems market. For the market for laser sources we expect a similar trend. While the price decay for commodity lasers continues, technology leaders successfully sell higher spec and quality lasers at premium prices. Growth rates for single segments of the industrial laser market are expected to range from double-digit losses for lasers for standard systems to positive growth rates for several segments of microelectronics processing. In China, quarterly sales of the major local laser and system manufacturers have recovered in Q2 and Q3 from the low Q1 levels, laying ground for full year figures which will exceed the 2019. For Europe, North America, and Japan we expect that sales in 2020 will be markedly down.
wth rates for industrial lasers and systems for several years, when it markedly decreased in 2019. The increase was driven by wide adoption of laser processes in Chinese manufacturing in a short time. The decrease in 2019 also is a reaction on the rapid growth in the years before. The decrease came with the above mentioned deterioration in major end industries, the trade conflicts, and the partial shift of foreign manufacturing investments to neighboring countries.