Laserline: diode laser will embrace a big chance in China


keywords: Laserline, diode laser



Markus Ruetering, Asia sales manager of Laserline


Laserline is the leading diode laser manufacturer in the world. Since the company extended the market in China, they now have more orders and larger team members. To know more about Laserline’s development and ability, we did the following interview in the recent with Markus Ruetering, the Asia sales manager of Laserline. 


Laser Manufacture News: Laserline is a global leading company in diode laser.It is said that Laserline can make 60kW lasers.But does it has demand, why do you make such a high power level laser?


Markus: It’s truethat the 60kW laser was manufactured in our company. It’s our own development. We use the system for general application trials and learning what is possible with the 60kW laser in terms of welding and cladding. Ourstandard diode laser systems that we sell today have laser powers of upto 25 kW.There are applicationslike heat treatment and cladding where weusethese powers, but we want to be prepared, and this is why we are already investigating the section of more power, what is possible in the various applications. So we have customers that are interested in this laser power level, and we foresee sales and projects in the near future, but it’s correct, actually the 60kW laser is not an official product. We could build a 100 kW laser, technically we are able to do it, but at the moment we consider 60 kW a reasonable level to get an understanding about the highest power applications.


Laser Manufacture News: Obviously, Laserline can make very high power lasers, but actually, what’s it about the demands of the customers in the market?


Markus: Look, about the demands of the customers in the market, something we have to consider arethe applications. If you look into the field of cladding, the demand of customers is in the range of 6~8~10 kW, we now have deliveredlasers up to 20 kW.But the hot spot is the range of 10 kW for cladding now in China, and if we look to the heat treatment applications, we see applications from something in the range of 3kW up to 16 kW, but the hot spot might be in the range of 4~6 kW for these applications.In terms of laser welding, the hotspot is in the range of about 6 kW, but we have also systems which exceed 10 kW for applications in these market, so it’s a wide range we supply in last year lasers from 2~20 kW to the market with maybe the general overall standard point of gravity being in the range of 6~8kW.


Laser Manufacture News:Car body processing is important, but please introduce some other developments of Laserline’s lasers in applications. 


Markus:Of course, a very big application here in China is the laser cladding application which is used in the mining industry which is used in oil and gas industry. So that’s wear resistance in surface coating, such as repair work of tools, that is going into mould and die, where also laser hardening is playing a role. Of course, next to these applications, China is now adopting more and more heat treatment applications, which is something where Japan might have been quicker, but China is now using a lot of laser welding applications. We foresee, there is ,maybe the most potential today in the laser welding for our lasers, and this is something we would pursue much, much faster and much harder in the future, but there is a huge potential that is already identified next to the automotive industry.


Laser Manufacture News: It is said that Laserline’s high power product could be used for shipbuilding application.


Markus: That’s correct. We do have customers, such as an installation of 16 kW diode laser into shipbuilding in this half year. We also we have some projects in terms of shipbuilding out of China.But Iwould not go into too many details about our customers and their applications, for all of these applications and customer projects are covered by nondisclosure agreements. It is proved that our lasers are powerful and suitable for some shipbuilding applications. 


Laser Manufacture News: I think some of your high power products are very suitable for some traditional industry in China, heavy industry. What do you think?


Markus: I totally agree. The opportunity in this field is there, such as aerospace, airplanes, shipbuilding, and also some defense applications. The situation for us is, as an equipment maker in Germany, some of the lasers that we manufacture are export-control, and delivering a laser into a defense application in China is not possible for us.We have to consider that everything we supply are industrial projects, so if we see it just from the level of sales opportunities, some partsare not served by us, on the other hand, we are doing very, very good business already in the industrial market today. Having had growth level of 50~100% in the recent years, which is giving us a quite good general situation in the China market.


Laser Manufacture News: Laserline worked with some local universities and develop high power diode laser applications, could you introduce something to us. 


Markus: We are actually looking into these projects, there is a so-called Sino-German Project, where German and Chinese research institutes and universities can cooperate. And we also have a project from the program which is called 2+2, where one German university and its industrial partner can form a project with one Chinese university and its industrial partner together. Several months ago, we had a big and important and also very good cooperation with the Shanghai Jiaotong University, in which our laser are placed in their general application lab where they develop new applications. We have a lot of lasers in plenty of other research institutes in Harbin, Beijing, Shenyang, and Hangzhou, like Zhejiang University of Technology. They have been one of the first to adopt our lasers for more than 10 years already, and we’re working with these research institutes on a very close level, and we will do in the future, but, on the other hand, we must always consider the export regulations which are our German laws, which are something we could not work against. 


Laser Manufacture News: Can you talk about the expectation for Laserline in 2018?


Markus: The expectation in 2018 is generally on a higher level. Of course, we have to consider that the market has been developing very, very nicely in recent years.The last eight yearswe always had nice growth numbers, and of course, we are hoping it will be going on like this in 2018, but we have to consider that there might be corrections coming. That being said, basically our expectations for 2018 are good. We are expecting a general increase of sales and turnover in China, in Asia, and the rest of the world. When we look into the market from the Laserline’s point of view, we always have a growth potential in several geographical territories not only in Asia, but in the recent years Asia was an outperformer compared to other sales territories, which, nevertheless, were very, very good. So the expectation is on a high level, keeping in mind that there might be corrections coming one time in the future.