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Laser manufacturing trends: from production lines to processing services

April 12, 2021

The emergence of laser technology has brought subversive changes to the manufacturing industry, and the process represented by cutting, welding, marking, cladding and so on is constantly infiltrating in the processing industry of various materials. After more than 20 years of development, laser processing in China's metal manufacturing development is relatively full, the future will be in glass, plastic, cloth fiber and other materials potential. As a tool, the application of laser from traditional low-end industries to high-end industries to achieve full coverage. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that laser processing will still have decades of development in the future.


Let’s start from laser cutting

As far as metal is concerned, the cutting of plate depends on hydraulic shear, numerical control punching, or water knife, flame cutting, has always been relatively slow, and the efficiency is difficult to improve up. The appearance of laser cutting makes metal plate cutting easy, and the efficiency is the highest of all processing methods. The production capacity of plate cutting has been increased many times, which is the fundamental reason why laser replaces traditional processing. As for the metal pipe cutting, that the saw blade costs more than 10 seconds to complete a cut of pipe cutting and that the laser takes 1.5 seconds to complete a pipe cutting, they are not at the same level. In addition, that laser pipe cutting instead of grinding wheel and saw blade is also a big trend.


With the rise of ultra-high power market in recent years ,20 kW or even 30 KW optical fiber laser cutting machines have been produced and shipped in batches, which promotes the laser technology to become more mature and break through the cutting thickness limit. In the future, the function of laser cutting will be further refined, laser cutting for special industries will show more new highlights. For example, laser drilling machine, groove laser cutting machine, heavy pipe and small tube laser pipe cutting machine and other equipment will show higher specificity and high efficiency.


The general function of laser metal cutting is to realize the processing and cutting of sheet metal and pipe material at the initial end. At present, it is widely used in dozens of industries, such as building stainless steel, machinery, kitchen utensils, elevators, household appliances, automobile parts, engineering vehicles, box structure and so on.


Laser equipment is of course used in production lines, but if we trace back to the final orientation of these laser devices, we will find that some large enterprises do not buy most laser equipment, such as Midea (a Chinese household appliance manufacturer). It has a large production of household appliance. The consumption of stainless steel is huge. However, it only purchase three 4 KW or lower power cutting machine.

In fact, the sales of 30,000 laser cutting equipment has reached 30000 or 40000 per year in nowadays, most of which are not flowing to well-known large enterprises, but into metal processing factories.


From production lines to processing services

Many well-known enterprises and consumer product manufacturers mainly do product design, technology research and development to the end , as well as brand promotion, product integration assembly and other work,. Some piecemeal parts processing, parts production have chosen outsourcing, external procurement.


For example, home appliance enterprises, automobile enterprises, mobile phone manufacturing enterprises, there are many supporting parts and components small factories around them. And these big enterprises are responsible for outsourcing processing, purchasing parts back to assemble. The same is true that the car factory is responsible for stamping parts, body welding, spraying and assembly, and many other parts of the car rely on supporting factory procurement.


This is a major trend of industrial chain division after the development of manufacturing industry. Therefore, in the processing of laser metal materials, a large number of professional laser service manufacturers will emerge in the future.


We know that the United States first developed the laser industry, it is also the country with most mature laser technology and application. There was a saying that nearly 50% of industrial manufacturing in the United States was linked to laser technology. The development of laser manufacturing in the United States is closely related to tens of thousands of laser processing service providers.


In recent years, thousands of laser processing service providers of large and small, have appeared in our country. They buy one or two and more than a dozen equipment, which is the main body of the large purchase quantity in the laser cutting and processing equipment at present. Laser manufacturing has gradually derived professional processing service providers. At present, in some industrial developed cities, we can often see laser processing stores in the streets and alleys often see , indicating that China's laser processing services are gradually developing and maturing. Some of the service providers have a certain scale, and build their own corporations. The development of laser processing service chain will greatly promote the promotion of laser application in China and will be an important trend of laser development in China.