Laser cleaning is the process by which contaminants, debris or impurities (e.g. carbon, silicon and rubber) are removed from the surface of a material by using laser irradiation. This is a low-cost and environmentally-friendly laser application technique, which is in widespread use throughout global industry.
Advanced industrial lasers have evolved well beyond simple cutting and welding applications. Laser technology now offers an industrial de-coating and surface cleaning solution that is cost effective as well as responsive to environmental concerns. From the automated cleaning of molds to precise de-coating to oxide removal, laser surface treatments are proving to be an attractive option to traditional labor-intensive methods.
In the past decade laser paint removal and cleaning systems have generated significant interest as a viable alternative to conventional cleaning and paint removal technologies. Research on mobile, reliable, and powerful laser systems for cleaning and paint removal operations began in the late 1980s with the modification of welding or cutting lasers into laser systems for surface preparation. This approach did not meet the requirements for surface preparation, which are significantly different than for cutting and welding.
In the early 1990s, research took place around the world for more efficient, reliable laser systems for surface preparation work. It took another few years to develop the technology from experimental laboratory systems to dependable systems capable of use in day-to-day industrial operations. Today, a wide variety of industries have adopted laser systems for a range of surface preparation tasks. Applications include mold cleaning, paint removal, joining pretreatment, oil and grease removal, and many more.
In the past few years from 2012-2017, global Laser Cleaning Market developed fast with a 14.10% CAGR rate, which is mostly driven by emerging countries in like China. The Laser Cleaning market is forecast to grow to a value of around $278.49 million by the end of 2017. The Key players include TrumpF, IPG Photonics, CleanLASER, Coherent, P-laser, all headquartered in developed countries. They enter new markets and expand market share through mergers and acquisitions.
North America is expected to account for almost 32.12% of the overall Laser Cleaning market share for the year 2017. Europe is projected to account for the second largest market share of 27.04% of the overall Laser Cleaning market. APAC is expected to account for 26.31% of the total market share in 2017, whereas Central & South America and Middle East & Africa are expected to capture 10.28% and 4.24%, respectively, in the Laser Cleaning market.
One of the major drivers for this market is Growing investment in manufacturing plants worldwide. Lasers are used in manufacturing plants for cutting, engraving, welding, and marking of products. For instance, in the automotive industry, laser systems are used for cutting airbag cloth and composite materials. They are also used in door welding as well as welding of gears and powertrain components. In the packaging industry, lasers are used for marking of expiry dates and batch numbers on the end-product. Therefore, the investment in manufacturing plants globally will accelerate the demand for laser systems.
The latest trend gaining momentum in the market is Increase in the number of M&A. There has been a major change in the market landscape because of a series of M&A in the global industrial laser market. The vendors in the market resort to M&A to acquire technological expertise and expand their geographical presence. The high growth potential of lasers across industries has compelled vendors to acquire laser technology providers and hardware manufacturers for gaining a competitive edge in the market. During 2011-2016, the collaboration among the supply chain members increased.