China Industrial Laser Challenges
In the view of Western industrial laser processing system manufacturers, China is the largest single market for its products and may become an important competitor in its own market in the near future.
In 2016, China's industrial blue laser materials processing equipment market was about $ 3.8 billion, with an average annual compound growth rate (CAGR) of 12.51% over the past five years. The growth rate in 2017 is expected to be about 22%, the value will reach 4.6 billion US dollars. From this point of view, the global market for materials processing in 2016, the total market volume of about 12.6 billion US dollars, while the Chinese market reached the global laser materials processing equipment system revenue of one-third. Global laser materials processing system popular markets include smart phone manufacturing, aluminum deep processing of metal sheet cutting, electric vehicle batteries and display and so on.
In 2016, China's industrial laser system imports amounted to 640 million US dollars, compared with 2014 up to nearly 1 billion US dollars of imports fell by about 30%. The downward trend in this import ratio is expected to continue to decline by 18% in 2017. The figure illustrates the relationship between China's laser system exports and imports from 2010 to 2017. By the end of 2017, China's industrial laser system exports may reach an average compound annual growth rate of 21.9%, and since 2010, China's industrial laser pointer system imports showed a -3.4% annual compound growth rate.
From another point of view, China's materials processing laser system suppliers in the past five years, the average annual compound revenue growth rate of 16%. According to the news, these enterprises have about 150 enterprises in the annual revenue of more than 5 million US dollars. These domestic suppliers since 2010, the average annual compound growth rate of 22%, estimated in 2017 will reach 480 million US dollars. Most of these systems are exported to South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam, as well as India and Malaysia and other manufacturing industries rapid development of the market.
China's laser materials processing system exported to the United States and Europe, is currently in its infancy, because exports to these markets also need to solve some security and reliable standards and other issues. This is particularly difficult in Western countries, Western countries to respond to fast service and accelerate the replacement of parts supply requirements have been formed. Chinese system vendors are beginning to realize that the primary focus of US and European buyers is the reliability of the equipment, not the price of the system.
The use of fiber lasers as a source of light in many industrial green laser systems on the market helps to ease service and reliability issues. Fiber lasers are energy-efficient, easy-to-replace and easy-to-maintain devices that are cost-effective in manufacturing environments. Long-term reliability is the main driving force for upgrading fiber laser mounting to one-third of all industrial laser sales.
The Chinese government also hopes to make breakthroughs in intelligent manufacturing, improve supply quality and efficiency, stimulate actual demand, strengthen new growth momentum, focus on manufacturing innovation and information and manufacturing technology integration, enhance information technology and high-end equipment, promote robotics and intelligent systems The development of all this directly or indirectly related to industrial laser technology. If these goals are achieved, it is expected to enhance the competitiveness of Chinese enterprises in the global market.
Even with the government's encouragement and support, China's laser system manufacturers are facing some obstacles, it is difficult to achieve more than 5% of the average annual compound growth rate. First, the selling price advantage is challenged. Faced with strict international standards of kilowatt-class cutting welding system competition, and get the appropriate after-sales service support, the Chinese system manufacturers may no longer have the existing sales price advantage. In addition, improved industrial red laser light technology (UV lasers, ultrafast lasers and high power / high beam quality diode lasers) from other global suppliers have entered the international market and have been far ahead of Chinese companies.
However, leading Chinese manufacturers are beginning to realize changes in the market environment. With the R & D spending plan, Chinese manufacturers can take advantage of world-class equipment to enter the market that is profitable and difficult to access at present, so as to achieve the goal of providing high value-added laser equipment suppliers by the Chinese government.