The Global Ultrafast Lasers Market was valued at USD 1.43 Billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach USD 3.31 Billion by 2026, with an estimated CAGR of 16.6%, during the period of 2021-2026. The COVID-19 outbreak and associated lockdown restrictions across the world affected industrial activities; Many industries witnessed a disruption in supply chain and manufacturing operations across the world. Some other effects of lockdown include lack of availability of raw materials used in the manufacturing process, labor shortages, fluctuating prices that could cause the production of the final product to inflate and go beyond budget, shipping problems, etc.
- Ultrafast or ultrashort pulse lasers have become essential manufacturing tools across industries, such as automotive, medical devices, and consumer electronics, owing to advantages, such as enhanced dimensional accuracy and tighter tolerances, and elimination of post-processing steps.
- Industries have moved from laser cut technology to ultrafast laser technology for machining accuracy, thereby enabling early time to the market. Although this laser (typically in the form of oscillators and amplifiers) equipment tend to have high initial costs, the improvement in process precision reduces the overall time and operating cost for the production line, which is the primary reason for the high adoption of this equipment in the material processing applications.
- The Ultrafast laser are available in the femtosecond and picosecond variants; these lasers are also gaining traction in the medical equipment and military equipment manufacturing sectors. 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 glass, which allows the traceability of syringes and other glass devices, and other volatile materials used in military equipment, picosecond lasers are the most used for laser marking on the steel metals surface. These lasers also are used for processing plastics for medical devices (polymer processing).
- 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. The need for high precision is crucial, especially across high-value products, such as smartphones, automobiles, and medical devices, that are designed to match dimensional accuracies, which reflects the desired performance.
Key Market Trends
Demand from Consumer Electronics is Expected to Witness Significant Growth
- The electronics manufacturing segment remains highly dynamic. It is driven primarily by the increasing demand from the consumer electronics sector and fast-paced technological developments. The consumer electronics providers significantly depend on the electronic manufacturers who offer benefits such as cost savings, reduced time-to-market, reduced time-to-volume, quality, and flexibility to provide their products in the market. According to the Consumer Technology Association, the wholesale revenue of consumer electronics shipments in the United States accounted for USD 301 billion in 2019, compared to USD 169.79 billion in 2009.
- Miniaturization and demand for tighter dimensional tolerances are the leading drivers for the adoption of Ultrafast lasers in consumer electronics devices. The manufacturers have been trying to fit components inside ever-smaller form factors. The electronic manufacturing process requires the inspection of the tinier component features along with improved accuracy.
- The growing applications of femtosecond lasers are in the field of handheld electronics. Cell phones, microprocessors, memory chips, and display panels are incredibly sophisticated components, comprising many different materials, multiple layers of extremely low thicknesses, and minimal features. They require advanced and high-precision manufacturing processes and the capability to be produced economically in large quantities.
- Due to their very short pulse duration, ultrafast lasers allow for virtually thermal micromachining without any heat generation. Their increasing use in the advanced display repair process has led to the development of a new generation of compact, high-speed, multi-wavelength ultrafast lasers.
North America is Expected to Hold a Significant Market Share
- Electronics manufacturing in the United States is one of the major factors boosting the power of the overall manufacturing sector in the country. Though the country has witnessed a slight decline in its growth over the past few years, electronics is still a significant contributor to the manufacturing market in the country.
- Cell phones, display panels, microprocessors, and memory chips are extremely sophisticated components, comprising a large number of different materials, multiple layers of extremely low thicknesses, and minimal features. They require advanced and high-precision manufacturing processes, such as ultrafast lasers, to be produced economically in large quantities.
- Besides, consumer electronics products and automotive electronics have also stimulated the growth of the market, by adopting ultrafast laser technology. For instance, in the United States, GF Machining Solutions' Microlution ML-5 ultrafast laser micromachining platform pushed micromachining beyond traditional CNC technology, to make micron-scale machining economically and technically feasible.
- By using these ultrafast lasers from GF Machining Solution, General Motors, headquartered in the United States, achieved greater flexibility and higher precision, while lowering the flow variation and reducing cycle times. Besides, life sciences and research applications have also contributed to the growth of ultrafast lasers in the country. The advent of advanced in vivo microscopy techniques (IVM) and functional imaging in the country is now encouraging a new generation of femtosecond lasers.
The Ultrafast lasers market is highly competitive owing to the presence of multiple players. The market appears to be moderately concentrated. 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, Trumpf, Jenoptik, Lumentum, among others.
- June 2021 - Amplitude Laser Inc., collaborated with CATIE (Centre Aquitain des Technologies de l'Information et Electroniques) to make Pdigital solutions for both facilitating the collaboration between a local technician and a remote expert, and maximizing lasers operating time.
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