GW Laser has signed 2 large orders of 1,000 units in a row. In fact, when the growth of the laser cutting market encountered a bottleneck, the market of laser welding has risen strongly. On the one hand, the orders for laser equipment used for power battery production have skyrocketed, and a series of listings have been hatched. Company; on the other hand, hand-held laser welding equipment that effectively replaces traditional argon arc welding was born, and has been quickly recognized by the market, and its sales have doubled in recent years. In 2021, Han’s Laser, Lianying Laser, Liyuanheng, Haimuxing and other companies will receive nearly 20 billion yuan in lithium battery equipment orders; and the scale of hand-held laser welding machines has also been mainly circulated and tested within manufacturers since 2018. , and sales will reach tens of thousands of units by 2021. It is certain that handheld laser welding machines will maintain such a growth rate in the next few years. The decreasing price will strengthen the tool attributes of the handheld laser welding machine, making it more advantageous in replacing traditional argon arc welding; at the same time, the technological upgrade in the field of handheld laser welding is also continuously improving the handheld welding machine. performance, quality and application. The hand-held laser welding machine using the air-cooled solution came into being under this background.
Why is it air-cooled? Who has mastered the air cooling? Early handheld laser welding machines used water cooling for heat dissipation. This method is simple in structure and easy to maintain. It has made great contributions to the market development of handheld laser welding from 0 to 1. However, in the process of use, the market gradually found that the water-cooled hand-held laser welding machine has shortcomings in portability and functional ductility. At the same time, the characteristics of anti-freezing in winter and anti-condensing in summer also increase the difficulty of equipment maintenance. As the market demand becomes more sophisticated, some manufacturers have begun to consider using air-cooled solutions as hand-held laser welding machines. Compared with the water-cooled solution, the hand-held laser welding machine using the air-cooled solution does not require additional water-cooling equipment, which greatly reduces the volume and weight of the equipment while reducing costs. In addition, it also provides convenience for adding functions such as cleaning and cutting in the later stage. . Some people in the industry believe that air-cooled hand-held laser welding is the key to further replacing the argon arc welding market with greater cost-effectiveness advantages and more flexible application scenarios (small size, portability, and functional extension). Most of the current laser equipment is equipped with a chiller, the purpose of which is to keep the temperature of key components constant, avoid changes in beam quality caused by temperature fluctuations, and damage to components caused by excessive temperature. For hand-held laser welding machines, how to use air cooling to achieve the same temperature control effect as water cooling has become a bottleneck restricting the industrial application of this new concept. The first to break through this technical bottleneck is the global leader in fiber lasers – IPG. As early as November 2020, IPG has launched the LightWELD 1500, a fully air-cooled handheld laser welding machine, which represents the paradigm of other handheld laser welding systems on the market with its small size, light weight and unique air-cooled device. change. In June of the following year, the product was launched in China. Also in 2020, some domestic enterprises have also begun to carry out technical research around the air-cooling scheme of hand-held laser welding. In July 2021, GW Laser (Shanghai) launched the first air-cooled A1500W smart laser welding machine; in October of the same year, Reci Laser (Beijing) also released the FCA1500 air-cooled laser for handheld laser welding machines.
Air cooled laser welder :reci、IPG、GW
Although they are both air-cooled solutions, these three companies adopt different technical routes. According to Weike.com Laser, IPG’s LightWELD 1500 handheld laser welding system uses a heat pipe radiator cooling solution, and the A1500W smart air-cooled handheld welding machine launched by GW Laser uses a compressor cooling solution. Thermal stimulation light researches and develops FCA The series of air-cooled CW fiber lasers adopt the fan forced convection cooling method.
GW has continuously signed large orders to improve delivery capacity to lead the air-cooled market. Due to factors such as late listing time, fewer companies entering the market, and insufficient capacity preparation, only about 300 air-cooled handheld laser welding machine terminals will be delivered in 2021 (Data source: Gaowei Consulting ). Although the shipments of air-cooled hand-held laser welding machines are insignificant compared to water-cooled hand-held laser welding machines from the data of 2021, this new product has been quickly recognized by the market after being verified. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, Guanghui Laser signed two strategic cooperation agreements for 1,000 air-cooled 976nm laser welding machines around the Spring Festival in 2022, and won orders for 2,000 units within 30 days. In the next few months, as the market recognizes and expects air-cooled handheld laser welding technology, this number is expected to continue to increase.
As mentioned above, insufficient capacity preparation is a major factor restricting the delivery of air-cooled handheld laser welding machines. In order to solve the production capacity problem, GW Laser signed the air-cooled laser global base project in Rudong High-tech Zone, Jiangsu Province in December 2021. The total investment of the project is 1 billion yuan. It is expected to achieve an annual output of 100,000 sets of optical modules and 100,000 air-cooled hand-held laser welding machines after it is put into operation, with an additional sales of 3 billion yuan. At that time, the base will greatly relieve the pressure of Guanghui Laser’s current production capacity in short supply, and become an important support for GW to realize its global strategy. With the support of a large number of orders and the ability to solve the problem of production capacity, it is foreseeable that the shipments of air-cooled handheld laser welding will usher in explosive growth in 2022. In fact, Guanghui Laser will take the lead in this segment with a shipment of nearly 200 units in 2021 (the air-cooled handheld laser welding market accounts for more than 60%). As of press time, more than 3,000 GW air-cooled hand-held welding machines have been ordered, and more than 300 units have been shipped. With the delivery of the new plant in the first quarter of this year, GW is expected to achieve an annual delivery volume of over 10,000 units, which is expected to account for more than 10% of the entire handheld laser welding market in 2022 and more than 70% of the air-cooled handheld laser welding market.
Dr. Ding Jianwu, founder of GW Laser, once said in the live broadcast of Weike.com Laser: “At present, GW’s air-cooled hand-held laser welding machine has been verified by the market. Since the first generator in July, there have been some electrical and grounding aspects. However, there is no problem that challenges the cooling system. It can be said that we have completed the exploration and verification of the air-cooled handheld laser welding ecology. We hope to work with upstream and downstream partners to improve this laser ecology in the future. Promote the rapid development of air-cooled handheld laser welding machines.”
Hand-held laser welding is favored by capital GW is committed to building a new industrial ecology. In addition to the gratifying data on sales and orders, hand-held laser welding (especially GW’s air-cooled hand-held laser welding) is also favored by the capital market. In July 2021, not long after the first domestic air-cooled handheld laser welding was launched, GW Laser received a strategic financing of 100 million yuan led by Shangqi Capital, a subsidiary of SAIC Group, and the joint participation of Dongtaipu Fund. In addition to continuing to strengthen the capacity expansion of the new generation of 10,000-watt laser products based on the 976nm technology route, this round of financing will also enter the new track of the 100 billion market for handheld laser welding machines. In October of the same year, GW Laser received another 50 million yuan strategic investment led by CCB Investment, a subsidiary of CCB Trust. The funds obtained will be used to create a new ecology of air-cooled laser handheld welding, and is committed to leading a new era of new laser tooling revolution. The funding of 150 million yuan will not only help GW Laser realize the increase in the production capacity of air-cooled hand-held laser welding machines, but also help the performance of the air-cooled laser developed by GW Laser to a higher level. Dr. Ding Jianwu said: “At present, the upper limit of the active heat dissipation scheme we use is high, which is enough to meet the heat dissipation of 1000W~3000W power lasers. We have established a common platform for products similar to the automotive industry, and most parts can be shared, changed or added. Modules can quickly define new products, and the cost can be diluted, and can quickly enter the market. The 1500W air-cooled laser hand-held welding machine we are currently promoting is a product with balanced cost performance, and the air-cooled 3000W is our future direction. We will Continue to work hard to bring more reliable and efficient products to customers.” In addition, the air-cooled 976 laser ecology that GW Laser has been building in an open and cooperative manner has also taken shape. On the basis of the existing air-cooled 976 fiber laser technology, GW Laser has deeply integrated the core components of the air-cooled 976 laser by cutting into the air-cooled handheld laser welding market, creating an air-cooled 976 laser core system, allowing OEM and ODM equipment Traders have greater independent control, and can produce and sell laser welding machines on a large scale with quality and quantity. At the same time, with the formation of the air-cooled 976 laser core system, GW Laser also began to explore with partners the solutions of air-cooled hand-held laser cutting machines and air-cooled hand-held laser cleaning machines. In the future, a handheld air-cooled laser machine with the advantages of energy saving and portability, compatible with the three functions of “cleaning + cutting + welding” is expected to be born in the air-cooled 976 laser ecology. The establishment of this new ecology of the laser industry will surely gather more laser industry chain companies, and will also bring new growth space for the increasingly competitive laser application market. Together, they will make the laser industry bigger and stronger, and light up China’s hard-core scientific and technological power.