After two days here at Laser World of Photonics in Munich, it is clear that the laser business, especially the industrial laser sector, is having a great year globally and is recovering nicely from the recession which had left a lot of companies shaken about the future.
The VDMA, the organization that represents the machine tool industry, reports that orders received for new laser equipment in 2010 surpassed the record set in 2008. This suggests that laser revenues for 2011 may be able to exceed the record year of 2007.
Germany thrives on industrial laser and system exports, primairly to Southeast Asia (17%) including India. When shipments to Japan are factored in, Asia represents 23% of German exports. This is expected to drive their laser markets for the coming year or two.
Most of the buzz in the halls is about the phenomenal growth of the industrial laser market last year and this. Companies are projecting growth percentages from 35 to 65%, with bookings guaranteeing a record year for many.
Euphoria compared to two years ago reigns supreme amongst the hundreds of exhibitors here. You can confirm this by observing the show crowds filling the Munich beer gardens at night. I can vouch for this as I made an exhaustive survey.