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The global ultrafast lasers market was valued at $3.37 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach a value of $12.82 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 25.02%, during the forecast period (2019 - 2024). In medical applications, Q-switched lasers are being replaced with ultrafast lasers. Also, some non-laser techniques, such as surgical scalpels and mechanical saws are being substituted owing to their similar practicality traits and easy-to-handle options.
- Industries have moved from laser cut technology to ultrafast laser technology for the machining accuracy and thus enabling early time to market. The improvement in process precision reduces the overall time and operating cost for the production line, which is the primary reason for the adoption of material processing applications.
- With the government imposing regulations, including quality, to increase the mileage and reduce the CO2 emissions, automobile manufacturers are turning toward technological innovations in lasers to meet the targets and stringent rules imposed by the government.
- There is a learning curve associated with bringing laser technology in house. For instance, the majority of drawbacks are related to the learning curve involved in bringing femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery in the house. More than the initial coursework, the professional needs to set aside dedicated time to learning how to work with the laser in his/her office. This includes everything from where to set up the machine to how the support staff can best assist with the procedures.
The unique characteristics of ultrafast lasers have rapidly revolutionized materials processing after their first demonstration in 1987. The ultrashort pulse width of the laser suppresses heat diffusion to the surroundings of the processed region, which minimizes the formation of a heat-affected zone and thereby enables ultrahigh precision micro and nanofabrication of various materials. The output of an ultrafast laser has various remarkable properties which are of interest for a wide range of industries like Consumer Electronics, Medical, Automotive, Research, Aerospace and Defense.
Key Market Trends
Femtosecond and Picosecond Variant Gaining Market Share
- Available in the femtosecond and picosecond variants, these lasers are gaining traction in the medical equipment and military equipment manufacturing. For instance, stents and catheters are being made with ultrafast lasers.
- In addition, mandates of laser marking for medical devices across the regions is another reason for the increasing demand for ultrafast lasers.
- While femtosecond lasers are known for marking in the glass, which allows the traceability of syringes and other glass devices, and other volatile materials used in military equipment, picosecond lasers are most used for laser marking on the steel metals surface. In addition, these lasers are used for processing plastics for medical devices (polymer processing).
Asia-Pacific to Shape the Future of Ultrafast Lasers Market
- Research-funding agencies have begun to invest mostly in new collaborations and facilities in Asia-Pacific that employ ultrafast lasers for broad areas of science.
- Companies are collaborating in this region, which is creating huge opportunity. For instance, in November 2018, STORMBEE made a strategic partnership with NEOLASER SOLUTIONS to grow their presence in the Asia Pacific market of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand.
- Symposiums like APAC Laser Symposium help to create awareness regarding laser usage, thus attracting investors.
Vendors in the market are involved in new product rollouts with significant R&D investments and partnerships that significantly boost the market growth. In addition to technological investments, companies also have acquisitions as their growth strategy. The market consists of laser/photonic giants, such as Coherent, Trumph, Jenoptik, Lumentum, among others.
- March 2019 - Coherent Inc. significantly expanded its Gilching, Germany micromachining and sub-system facility in Gilching, and completed the relocation of the company's laser marking group from nearby Gunding. This "Center of Excellence", designated as Coherent Munich was an upgrade to the organization's applications and R&D capabilities.
- March 2019 - Trumpf's new disk laser TruDisk Pulse 421 generates laser light in the green spectrum at 515 nanometers. It operates in the pulsed mode at mean power of 400 watts and solves the problems found when using infrared lasers to weld copper.
- February 2019 - MKS, introduced Spectra-Physics IceFyre 355-30, a high power, industrial UV picosecond hybrid fiber laser designed for micromachining applications in high throughput manufacturing.