Italian welding equipment market expected to double

September 14--Currently, the Italian laser welding equipment market relies on a limited number of applications to produce a large portion of its revenues. To reduce market volatility and sustain growth, market participants will have to encourage the penetration of laser welding technology into new applications, says Frost & Sullivan.

Frost & Sullivan finds that the Italian laser welding equipment market earned revenues of $41.8 million in 2004 and estimates it to reach $77.7 million in 2011.

The automotive sector, particularly the Fiat Group and its suppliers, generates the most demand for laser welding products. "There is only so much that a company like Fiat can contribute to laser welding demand on its own, especially as lasers generate little replacement demand," cautions Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Titus Hocevar. "In this context, the strategic re-orientation of Italian automotive suppliers towards greater cooperation with German car manufacturers is a positive trend since the Italian automotive sector based around a single company cannot generate as much demand as several different large German car manufacturers."

The current focus on the automotive sector has meant that many applications in the other end-user sectors have remained relatively undeveloped. The heavy industrial manufacturing (particularly railway wagon manufacutring and, in the long-term, shipbuilding), aerospace, light industrial manufacturing (especially welded tube manufacturing and production of radiators) as well as electronics and medical sectors offer promising applications for laser welding that are yet to be fully develped.

Supported by the country's substantial industrial base and the amount of metal processing performed, the Italian welding equipment market currently ranks second in terms of abolute size within Europe.

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