Demand for fiber optic lasers produced by IPG Photonics remains strong in China, one of the company's key markets, Optics.org reports.
Despite concerns about an economic slowdown in the country, as well as fears about the strong US dollar, the leading industrial fiber laser company recently reported another record quarterly sales figure of $243.5 million—a 22% increase from the same time last year.
Looking at IPG's previous sales, it brings sales for the first 9 months of 2015 to an impressive $678 million. The final quarter of the year is expected to bring an additional $215 million to that total.
Commenting on the news, the company's founder and CEO—Valentin Gapontsev—said that there had been solid demand from cutting, additive manufacturing, welding and ablation applications as sales of lasers for materials processing applications increased from 2014.
Looking ahead to 2016, and expanding applications along with a growing momentum in Europe are expected to drive sales growth by a further 10-15%, generating annual revenues of $1 billion next year.
While these standard deployments of fiber lasers are going to continue growing, Gapontsev foresees several new applications that will diversify the company's base and boost revenues even more.
One major application could be battery welding, which is highlighted by the CEO as an emerging opportunity as rechargeable batteries present in smartphones, devices and electronic cars move to the power grid.
Other applications for lasers include digital cinema projection, and a triple-beam source displayed at the 2015 Laser World of Photonics is gaining the interest of car manufacturers for brazing zinc-coated steel.
IPG is keen on expanding its global footprint, beginning with the opening of a new Chinese office in Wuhan, the centre of the country's photonics industry and an important location for industry and automotive manufacturing.