LDM-XT laser series
LASOS Lasertechnik GmbH • Franz-Loewen-Str. 2 • 07745 Jena • Germany
Our next generation of laser diode modules
Narrow bandwidth option
High beam quality
From UV to infrared
Up to 300 m W
Leibinger: That’s the one question I struggled with most, but
in the end, it is Asia. In this region, our strong markets today
are in this sequence: South Korea, China, and Japan, and then
with some distance, Taiwan. This region will stay strong, but I
see a lot of potential in South East Asia as well.
LFW: Are you not concerned about some of the official
Chinese plans for laser development in the future, like Made
in China 2025?
Leibinger: Very, very concerned. If you look at the marking industry, it’s a cautionary tale. Marking laser market numbers depend on who you listen to, but let’s just take one number for the
sake of our argument. Let’s say the Chinese laser marking market
is about 50,000– 60,000 units. I would assume IPG Photonics
and TRUMPF are a distant second to Chinese competitors in
the marking laser market for standard 20 W fiber lasers. We ship
around 10,000 marking lasers a year and most of them go to
China, but nevertheless, Chinese competitors make a lot more.
We are seeing the same development happening for low-pow-
er continuous-wave (CW) lasers with 500–1000 W. It’s a ques-
tion of time until that happens with high-power CW. I’m also
worried about that because we do not understand how the pric-
es of these lasers are possible. If we do reverse engineering, we
see that the components are from the same suppliers we are
using. If we add up what we are paying and then we deduct
from that discount for higher quantities, we still don’t arrive at
what they sell it for. I don’t know how it works, but the lasers
are sold at these low prices. That’s the fact, and that’s what we
have to deal with.
LFW: And there is an official government policy to support it.
Leibinger: I’m very worried about that.
LFW: The government has also created the Great Firewall of
China, a digital firewall to regulate the Internet. Is that in-
terference for your plans for Industry 4.0?
Leibinger: Absolutely. The only way we can do Industry 4.0 in
China is really through collaboration. It is the law that data generated in China must not leave the country. If we set up a cloud
in China, we must sign over the passwords to the Chinese government for emergencies. That means we are completely transparent. Why go through the hassle of setting up your own cloud?
You might as well do it with a Chinese partner.
But I think that’s also an opportunity. We bring a lot to
the table. When we are dealing with Chinese commercial
businesses, yes, there might be government influence—but
in the end, they follow the interest of business. This is what
we have to work on.