Industrial laser shipments jump 40% in 2004’s first quarter

McLean, VA—Shipments of industrial laser equipment and systems for North America and U.S. exports shot up 40% to a total of $122.7 million in the first quarter of 2004 (1Q04) compared to 1Q03, according to new research by the Laser Systems Product Group (LSPG) of the Asso-ciation for Manufacturing Technology (AMT).


McLean, VA— Shipments of industrial laser equipment and systems for North America and U.S. exports shot up 40% to a total of $122.7 million in the first quarter of 2004 (1Q04) compared to 1Q03, according to new research by the Laser Systems Product Group (LSPG) of the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT). The 41 companies participating in LSPG’s statistical program reported North American laser shipments totaling $81.6 million for 1Q04, while their exports amounted to $41.1 million.

LSPG’s study found that shipments of CO2 laser systems increased nearly 35% in 1Q04, while shipments of Nd:YAG lasers jumped more than 45%, when both were compared to 1Q03. The report also showed that cutting applications were the largest source of industrial laser activity in 1Q04, accounting for approximately 50% of all shipments. In addition, more than 55% of indus-trial lasers shipped in 1Q04 were CO2 type, while nearly 90%of all shipments were configured as a laser system, which is defined as a laser source and a workstation.

LSPG's statistical survey shows year-to-year percent changes in CO2 and Nd:YAG lasers, and reflects the contributions of only those companies that participated in the statistical program in 1Q04 and 1Q03. The report doesn’t include increased shipments reflecting the addition of new program participants in 1Q04.

“While impressive, the 40% increase in industrial laser shipments compared to the first quarter 2003 is not a big surprise, seeing that capacity utilization indices continue to rise to new cyclical levels, as do American manufacturing profits. Expectations are for even further growth as the summer months arrive,” says Dave Plourde, LSPG’s chairman and Preco Laser Systems’ VP.

LSPG includes AMT member companies that produce laser systems and industrial laser sources. The group operates as a forum for the industrial laser systems supplier community, acting cooperatively to increase the rate of growth of industrial laser products and systems in North America. While LSPG members must be members of AMT, any North American company building or supplying industrial laser equipment may participate in the LSPG statistical program.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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