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Tube Laser Cutting  for sheet metal is in  evolutionary phase

Tube Laser Cutting for sheet metal is in evolutionary phase

June 9, 2022 5:51 pm

Outlining the laser market scenario in India, including where the lasers are used the most, where advancements can  be made, and where improvement can be made.

In 2010, only 50 to 55 laser cutting machines were imported into India because of the high cost but that is changing now, and laser cutting machines are becoming more affordable. In 2020, about 1100 laser cutting machines were installed in India. This is a 20 times growth in market share in 10 years. In 2025, we would see almost 5000 and by 2030, almost 11,000 laser cutting machines in India, due to growing demand. So, we are heading on a great path for laser cutting machines.

 

Global Framework

 By 2020, the laser market in India had a market value of about 205 million US dollars, a growth rate of over 15 percent. And by 2025, we expect to cross 1 billion US dollars in value, which will be great for us because we will be one of the top five laser users, along with China, USA, Germany, and Japan. 

In China, they have been using it for years and due to affordability concerns, we have lagged, but starting in 2015, it has gained traction. Global laser market currently stands at $4.9 billion with a growth of about 11.2 percent CAGR and we are expecting to reach $7.2 billion by 2025 with India contributing almost $1 billion to it. The higher laser powers like 6 kilowatts, 12 kilowatts, 20 kilowatts, are now having over 50 percent market share almost in these figures. So, right now, if we say India contributes around 4 to 5 percent to global market share, which we believe will grow to 15 to 16 percent in the next 4-5 years, thanks to the ingenious technology being applied by Indian manufacturers. China has a 35 percent share of the market because there are over 200 manufacturers and the thousands of users because of China’s status as a global manufacturing hub.We have Europe using almost 19 percent of lasers, the U.S. about 16 percent, and the remaining 30 percent (in which India is almost 4 to 5 percent).

 

Advanced Applications

 Due to increase in Infra-structure developments in India, lot of structural steel is being processed with Sheet and Tube Laser Cutting especially for H, C and I beam. The next big industry is Retail Industry. We see the showrooms or any big retailers such as Reliance, Big Bazar, Cromaetc, they are using lasers there for all the dispaly racks. 

 

There are also a lot of Job-shops working with local small companies that are into interior design, architecture, or small component manufacturers. This market is also growing because of affordability. Turning your attention to 3D laser applications. For instance, in the automotive industry, we have side panels, Engine cradles, and hydroformed parts which needs to be trimmed or needs some hole/slot cutting; 5-axis machines are a must for process. So, huge demand in this segment is being seen currently. So, these are the few areas where 2D lasers and 3D Lasers are being used. Another interesting topic that is now becoming common in India is laser tube cutting. For example, in the construction industry, making scaffolding or making bridges requires a lot of C H and Ibeam, and lasers are becoming more and more popular because of their versatility. In the recent years, the market is shifting from lower power to higher power. So, that is also a new technology with its own challenges and benefits. First, the cutting speed is increased by two or three times if you cut with air on a 6kw or high-power laser. it will significantly reduce our operational expenses, and consequently, our productivity will be increased. In 2015, we were the first to sell 6 kW of laser power in India. But now, the technology has improved in terms optics and thermal stability of lasers so we can use up to 40KW laser source. We can cut higher thicknesses with better speed and quality. And another advantage is that, with a 12 KW machine, you can replace three sets of 3KW machines. We save on space, manpower, electricity still getting the same or better productivity. So, buying 3 sets of 3KW machine versus buying a 12KW machine is almost the same. The growth of the laser industry in India is happening at a tremendous pace, we expect to grow five times by 2025 and ten times by 2030. Why is that happening! Number one is the increased accessibility of laser cutting machines as earlier it was a luxury to buy a laser machine that costs2-3 crores, but now you can buy a laser machine that costs 20 lakhs or 30 lakhs. The capex and opex costs for laser cutting have decreased due to introduction of fiber lasers. So, the cost of operation is about 350 rupees per hour for a fiber laser cutting machine for 5mm MS, which was 3000 rupees for a CO2 laser. Therefore, people are shifting from plasma or turret punch to fiber laser machines since they can reduce their CAPEX and OPEX costs giving lot of flexibility in design selection irrespective of material and thickness. So, that is the major reason of shifting from, all the conventional technologies to laser. Our goal is to see a major shift from the current $205 billion business in India for laser to about 1.25 billion in 2025 and to 2 billion in 2030. Another reason is that exports in India is increasing due to shift from China. We are becoming  favourite choice for manufacturing globally due to ease of doing business and new government policies like PLI Scheme, Make in India to name a few. Then, there are export incentives, which is another reason for growing laser business in India. Finally, we have a better infrastructure, better electricity, which is stable and pure, and better transportation. As said by Steve Jobs “A Technology is successful, when it is available for everyone” …and we had the same vision when we started Laser Technologies in 2010, and we are happy and proud that our vision has transformed into success.

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