Laser industry in India continues path to growth

Industrial Laser Solutions Editorial Advisor Anant Deshpande reports on the LASER World of PHOTONICS India 2017 trade fair.

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Industrial Laser Solutions Editorial Advisor Anant Deshpande attended the LASER World of PHOTONICS India (LWoP India) 2017 trade fair, which was organized by Messe München India and held September 14-16 at Pragati Maidan in Delhi. The event featured almost 160 exhibitors and more than 6000 visitors.

Fiber lasers dominated the show, as there were various low- to high-power fiber lasers on display. Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) introduced a 10kW fiber laser and many Chinese players showcased their pulsed and continuous-wave (CW) fiber laser ranges. Apart from fiber lasers, diode-pumped solid-state lasers were displayed from companies such as Coherent, TRUMPF (Ditzingen, Germany), and Laserline (Mülheim-Kärlich, Germany). Some companies also demonstrated their femtosecond lasers for micromachining.

The laser industry is prospering in India, and so was the trade fair and the number of visitors.

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A visitor looks at a laser cutting machine at the show.

Dr. Ashutosh Sharma, secretary of the Department of Science and Technology (DST; New Delhi, India), opened the show, where—apart from industrial customers—the scientific community dropped in to see what the latest products are. Dr. Haribabu Srivastava, Director – Laser Science and Technology Center, DRDO (Government of India) was also at the show to see the latest offerings in the Laser for Defense sector.

After the takeover of Rofin by Coherent, Coherent Laser India (the official distributor of Coherent in India) had a large booth with fiber lasers, diode lasers, and a working marking system on display. TRUMPF, Laserline, Newport, Amplitude Technology, and EO Technics also had substantial booths, while local distributors and manufacturers such as Sahajanand, Suresh Indu, Laser Technology, Forbes, and others had their booths displaying various laser cutting/marking machines, while most other local integrators had fiber laser marking systems on display.

There were country-specific pavilions including China, Germany, and North American. Obviously crowded was the Chinese pavilion because laser marking machine costs are coming down from Chinese manufacturers every year. It looks like that we are not far off from when these units will be a household thing in the coming few years.

This year for the first time, an Additive Manufacturing half-day summit was held on September 15th and jointly organized by CNT Expositions and Messe München India, where the focus was on 3D printing/additive manufacturing. Industry leaders such as Optomec, TRUMPF, Renishaw, and 3D job shop companies such as Redington, 3D/, Maginarium India, and others presented the technology they offer and its advantages. It attracted a substantial number of participants, which points to the future of additive manufacturing—even in India.

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One of the sessions at the Additive Manufacturing half-day summit on September 15, 2017.

The fact that the show's size is growing every year is a good sign for the laser industry in India. However, in my personal opinion, industry participants/end users need to gravitate more towards these shows, which would allow LWoP India to become as popular as its shows in China and Munich, with people eagerly waiting for this show.

The next LWoP India trade fair will be held September 26-28, 2018 at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC).

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