It has been practice, in the years that Industrial Laser Solutions has published an annual economic survey of the industrial laser market, to review the numbers presented in the January issue. Most years this review, based on quarterly reports from public companies, is a subtle tweaking of the numbers.
Shortly after the 2009 report was being published we became aware of a sudden and dramatic change in one of the major markets, fabricated metal products, which purchases large quantities of costly laser systems. According to industry sources, companies that had booked sales of these units after the major trade shows were receiving cancellation notices and requests to delay order shipments. Because of the significance of this revenue loss we decided to review the entire market for industrial lasers.
Our approach was to use the quarterly, and in some cases, annual reports from the suppliers of industrial lasers and systems. We just completed this review with all of the major product suppliers now on record for 2008 sales and 2009 forecasts.
Figures 1-4 of the January report have been revised and are part of this message. We caution that the situation in the global manufacturing sector is still very fluid and changes are occurring daily, therefore the forecasted 2009 numbers are subject to further change.
Details behind the reported numbers will be presented at the scheduled 9th International Laser Marketplace meeting held in conjunction with the Laser World of Photonics in Munich in June. At that time we anticipate that the manufacturing situation should have stabilized to the point where a more confident forecast can be made.--DAB