China’s Laser Industry Thrives Amidst Challenges: Resilient Growth and Innovation Steer Economic Transformation

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During the recent "2023 Laser Advanced Manufacturing Summit Forum," Zhang Qingmao, Director of the Laser Processing Committee of the Optical Society of China, highlighted the laser industry's remarkable resilience. Despite the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the laser industry maintains a steady growth rate of 6%. Notably, this growth is in double digits compared to previous years, significantly outpacing growth in other sectors.

 Zhang emphasized that lasers have emerged as universal processing tools, and China's substantial economic influence, coupled with numerous applicable scenarios, positions the nation at the forefront of laser innovation in various application domains.

 Regarded as one of the contemporary era's four pivotal innovations—alongside atomic energy, semiconductors, and computers—the laser has solidified its significance. Its integration within the manufacturing sector offers exceptional advantages, including user-friendly operation, non-contact capabilities, high flexibility, efficiency, and energy conservation. This technology has seamlessly become a cornerstone in tasks such as cutting, welding, surface treatment, intricate component production, and precision manufacturing. Its pivotal role in industrial intelligence has led nations worldwide to vie for pioneering advancements in this core technology.

 Integral to China's strategic plans, the development of laser manufacturing aligns with objectives outlined in "Outline of the National Medium- and Long-Term Scientific and Technological Development Plan (2006-2020)" and "Made in China 2025." This focus on laser technology is instrumental in advancing China's journey toward new industrialization, propelling its status as a manufacturing, aerospace, transportation, and digital powerhouse.

 Notably, China has achieved a comprehensive laser industry ecosystem. The upstream segment encompasses pivotal components such as light source materials and optical components, essential for laser assembly. The midstream involves the creation of various laser types, mechanical systems, and CNC systems. These encompass power supplies, heat sinks, sensors, and analyzers. Finally, the downstream sector produces complete laser processing equipment, ranging from laser cutting and welding machines to laser marking systems.

 The applications of the laser industry stretch across diverse sectors of the national economy, including transportation, medical care, batteries, home appliances, and commercial domains. High-end manufacturing fields, like photovoltaic wafer fabrication, lithium battery welding, and advanced medical procedures, showcase the laser's versatility.

 Chinese laser equipment's global recognition has culminated in export values surpassing import values in recent years. Large-scale cutting, engraving, and precision marking equipment have found markets in Europe and the United States. The fiber laser domain, in particular, features domestic enterprises at the forefront. Chuangxin Laser Company, a leading fiber laser enterprise, has achieved remarkable integration, exporting its products globally, including in Europe.

 Wang Zhaohua, a researcher at the Institute of Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, asserted that the laser industry stands as a burgeoning sector. In 2020, the global photonics market reached $300 billion, with China contributing $45.5 billion, securing the third position worldwide. Japan and the United States lead the field. Wang sees significant growth potential for China in this arena, especially when coupled with advanced equipment and intelligent manufacturing strategies.

 Industry experts concur on the broader applications of laser technology in manufacturing intelligence. Its potential extends to robotics, micro-nano manufacturing, biomedical instruments, and even laser-based cleaning processes. Furthermore, the laser's versatility is evident in composite remanufacturing technology, where it synergizes with various disciplines like wind, light, battery, and chemical technologies. This approach enables the use of less costly materials for equipment, effectively substituting rare and valuable resources. The laser's transformative power is exemplified in its ability to replace traditional high-pollution and damaging cleaning methods, making it particularly effective in decontaminating radioactive materials and restoring valuable artifacts.

 The laser industry's persistent growth, even in the wake of COVID-19's impact, underscores its significance as a driver of innovation and economic development. China's leadership in laser technology stands poised to shape industries, economies, and global progress for years to come.

Post time: Aug-30-2023