17 Jul 2007
A new survey predicts that sales of laser cutting equipment will rise from $345 million in 2006 to $578 million in 2013.
The European laser cutting equipment market is enjoying steady growth as manufacturers focus on making their equipment adaptable to a variety of cutting operations, according to an analysis by Frost & Sullivan. "The ability to cut materials based on job orders instead of single-thickness cutting is a primary market driver," says the report. "The flexibility of these machines to adopt automation solutions such as robotics is another important factor."
The market is seeing a trend toward products featuring inbuilt software systems for computer numerical control (CNC), which will be used as part of cell manufacturing systems. This increase in automation is likely to have a positive impact on market growth, and the technical innovations required could lead to increased demand for adaptable laser cutting equipment in many countries across Europe.
Laser cutting equipment manufacturers are looking particularly to the German and emerging eastern European markets for future growth opportunities, as other regions of Europe are showing distinct signs of market maturity. Currently, Germany accounts for 27.1% of the total European market and this share is likely to increase somewhat now that the country has emerged from recession.
The most promising growth is expected in the eastern European markets due to increased investment and government funding in this region. With the provision of subsidies attracting many companies to set up manufacturing plants, the region is fast becoming a hub of industrial activity, which in turn is likely to drive demand for advanced manufacturing trends such as laser cutting equipment.
"With the growing prominence of eastern Europe, and the emergence of western European economies from recession, the laser cutting market in Europe is on a path of recovery towards positive growth," says the report. "Over the long term, the stability and maturity of the western European markets will be balanced by the growth and development of the eastern European region."
The report, European Laser Cutting Equipment Market, is available from Frost & Sullivan.