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SPI Lasers is another well-known and pure-play supplier. A striking feature of the fiber laser market is that the usual large laser suppliers are not prominent suppliers of fiber lasers. Laser market leaders, such as Coherent, Newport, Trumpf, and Rofin-Sinar, do not offer a fiber laser product today. JDS Uniphase does manufacture fiber lasers, but does not have strong market share. Instead, privately-held IPG Photonics approached the $100 million revenue mark in 2005, making it among the top 10 laser manufacturers in the world. If all goes well in 2006, it could be among the top five.
"The fiber laser is the next generation of laser technology that provides most of the advantages and eliminates many of the disadvantages of the conventional solid-state laser," said Tom Hausken, director of components research at Strategies Unlimited. "However, the machine tool business that these lasers serve is a notoriously cautious and slowly-changing craft industry. It's all about throughput, life cycle cost, low maintenance, and application support. The customer isn't impressed with the laser itself, only with what the system can do."
Strategies Unlimited based its observations on its report, Fiber Laser Market Review and Forecast -- 2006.
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