Fiber laser cutters a big hit at EuroBlech

Hanover, Germany - Fiber laser cutting systems proved to be one of the major attendance draws at this year International Sheet Metal Working Technology Exhibition (EuroBlech). More than 65,000 visitors attended this, the 22nd convening, with a records number of exhibitors (1520) among which were more than two dozen showing laser sheet metal cutters.

Fiber lasers dominated the 36 laser cutters on display with 26 systems ranging in power from 1.5 to 4 kW on display, with an additional 6 disc laser fiber-delivered systems -- leaving the overall impression that CO2 laser cutting, at least at this trade show, was of declining interest, according to editorial advisor Martien van Dijk, who covered the show for ILS. Ferdi Tōngi, president & CEO of one of the industry's technology leaders, Bystronic, stated that fiber lasers for metal cutting are growing faster than anticipated and this technology is expected to gain 50% of the market.

Among the fiber laser cutting systems on display, van Dijk reports that IPG Photonics continues to be the leader with 14 lasers integrated into cutting systems, Rofin Sinar made a notable appearance with seven of their fiber lasers powering systems, Amada and Hypertherm had 2 each and Trumpf disc lasers powered six systems. Other fiber lasers were scattered throughout the show performing welding, marking and other applications.

EuroBlech exhibitors were highly satisfied with this year's event, especially the half from outside Germany. In an uncertain economic climate, the German exhibitors were more optimistic about business conditions while the others were less favorably inclined.

Observing exhibit action, van Dijk remarked that most were busy with large numbers of visitors. Those he interviewed were very positive about the laser market, with several recording a large number of orders being placed. Several exhibitors commented that the show was eerily like 2008 when that show's record order placement and optimistic attitude was a precursor to the great recession. The difference today is that the world economic conditions are well known, whereas in 2008 the slowdown was sudden and unexpected.

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