Indian laser market maintains growth trend

Industrial Laser Solutions Editorial Advisor Anant Deshpande reports from LASER World of PHOTONICS India, held in late September 2018.

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Industrial Laser Solutions Editorial Advisor reports from India

ANANT DESHPANDE

The annual LASER World of PHOTONICS India (LWoP India) trade fair was held September 26-28, 2018, at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC), and organized by Messe Muenchen India.

This year’s show was much larger and better than last year, with more than 150 exhibitors from 13 countries. Exhibitors included leading players Trumpf, Coherent, IPG Photonics, Laserline, and Precitec, all making their presence felt. Integrators such as Suresh Indu, Scantech, Sahajanand Ahmedabad, Meera Laser, and Bradma were also present with their live demonstrations apart from leading representative companies in India that include Laser Science, Advance Photonics, ATOS, AMIL, and Precitec.

The show had German and Chinese pavilions where, for example, Scanlab demonstrated its excelliSCAN scanning system and Raycus showcased its 6 kW fiber laser. Participation from Chinese companies was quite visible, as half of the show’s second hall featured laser companies including Raycus, Max Photonics, Shenzhen JPT Opto-Electronics, and CAS Laser, and complete machine suppliers such as Bodor, HSG (through their representative Laser Technologies), and CK Laser, all with big booths and demonstration machines ranging from fiber lasers to fiber marking, 3D engraving, and UV laser marking systems.

At the show, we saw customers and delegates from various fields and industry-leading companies such as Honda, Titan, and Volvo. There were also visitors from government labs such as the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), and others, suggesting that LWoP India is gaining in popularity every year.

This year, two conferences were held. One was the Additive Manufacturing Summit by show organizer UBM, and the other was on Smart Manufacturing with Lasers. At the latter, keynote speaker Dr. Sri Venkat, senior vice president and general manager of high-power fiber lasers at Coherent, talked about the company’s new HighLight FL-ARM (adjustable ring mode) fiber laser and how it is helping to improve the welding process in applications such as automotive, battery, and others. Speakers from other companies presented the latest technologies offered by their respective companies, such as Trumpf, Laserline, and Coherent, and the solutions they offer for the industrial market—mainly automotive. This year, there were also talks from laser end-users such as TATA and JBM.

Going around the show and talking to different suppliers and manufacturers, it looks like laser marking and cutting machines may become a commodity market in the coming years, as the selling prices for these products are dropping drastically year after year. It will be interesting to watch how this market unfolds in coming years—right now, the market is growing rapidly, and it is dominated by Chinese suppliers.

Like other markets, the laser market in India also has its own challenges for standard laser marking and cutting machines. It looks, however, that applications such as welding, cladding, and micromachining are starting to pick up.

Speaking to Carlos Lee, Director General of the European Photonics Industry Consortium (EPIC), we talked about laser technology in the Indian market and its growth. He mentioned that EPIC is helping technocrats from different parts of world to get together to share the knowledge on different photonics application among each other.

Last but not least, we saw India’s first 3D metal printing machine made by Scantech—kudos to Nilesh Ramani and his team.

Overall, the Indian Laser market looks buoyant, promising, and competitive.

ANANT DESHPANDE (anant_deshpande20@yahoo.com) is an Industrial Laser Solutions Editorial Advisory Board Member focused on laser processing in India.

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