Given TYKMA Electrox’s abilities for producing high-quality laser marking systems, we believe it’s our responsibility to also keep up with the industry’s latest trends and innovations. By doing so, we can then accommodate our products to fit the evolving needs of our customers.
With that in mind, there have been many new developments within the laser industry in 2017. As we continue to dive into the remainder of the year, we should take note of the trends that are emerging. From new machinery to industry changes, the field is developing in many interesting ways. You can expect to see the following six trends within the industry in the second half of 2017:
1. VCSEL Technology
Vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL, pronounced as “vixel”) technology has recently made developments within the marketplace of many industries. So what is a VCSEL?
Defined as a semiconductor laser that releases an optical beam vertically from its top surface, VCSEL technology has a practical advantage over edge-emitting lasers and other light sources such as conventional LEDs because of its lower costs, reduced production time, and flexibility for new sensing applications.
Additionally, there are key benefits to using VCSEL technology in regard to its functionality. Operators with this equipment can expect high speeds, usage that can be easily scaled, and low threshold currents for high efficiency.
With each of these factors in mind, VCSEL technology is a trending, vital component to many industries with applications such as:
- 3D autofocus equipment for smartphones
- GPS equipment for agriculture
- Atomic clocks
- Gesture recognition/3D sensing equipment (such as smart TVs)
- Virtual reality
- Self-driving cars
2. Custom Leather Gifts
A more cosmetic trend that has taken off in 2017, with expectancy to continue and grow into the second half of the year, is the popularity of customized leather products and gifts.
The demand for leather products having a customized personalization such as engraved names or monogrammed initials has continued to be a popular niche market seen on inventory such as:
- Leather jewelry (watches, necklaces, etc.)
With the market for laser marking machines expected to grow to reach 3.38 billion by 2024, the increase in custom leather products being engraved is seen as a contributing factor.
3. LIDAR and Proximity Sensors
LIDAR, or light detection and ranging, is a sensing method used for a variety of applications in examining the Earth.
LIDAR products such as proximity sensors are instruments that consist of a laser, a scanner, and a specialized GPS receiver. These can be used to examine and collect data for both natural and manmade environments in various geographical locations and environments throughout the planet.
These types of sensors were a hot topic at Laser World of Photonics 2017, a bi-yearly conference and trade fair in Munich, Germany for laser applications. On display at this conference held earlier this year in June were new LIDAR sensors ready to be examined and used for industries such as manufacturing, automotive and even aerospace.
In recent years, LIDAR sensors have expanded into a multitude of fields with their usage only expected to grow. Some popular applications for the sensors include:
- Field drainage/flood maps and patterns
- Self-driving vehicles
- Drone technology
- Commercial aviation
- NASA auto piloting equipment
4. UV Printing
People have been printing a multitude of items, with 3D printing recently adding a new influence into the printing craze. However, it’s UV (ultraviolet) printing that ultimately will contribute to the forecast of growth for the digital ink market from 2017-2023.
This growth can be attributed to UV printing trends that have taken off in 2017 that include electrography and inkjet inks. Both of these types of printing guarantee benefits such as higher speeds which contributes to quicker turnaround times and lower costs. The general process for this type of printing involves using lasers with high-intensity ultraviolet light to instantly cure or “dry” inks, coatings or adhesives.
UV printing can be used for industrial applications such as printing barcodes, UID marking and indoor factory signage. Other applications for UV printing can include personalized stationary, brochures and other catalogs.
5. Enhanced Cinema Display in Theatres
We’ve touched on laser lighting in IMAX theatres previously, however there have been several new theatre advances worth noting so far in 2017 that moviegoers should also keep an eye out for in the second half of the year.
To compete with stay-at-home streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, theatres around the world have been tasked with finding ways to make the experience for their visitors even better. One of the ways this has been done has been by making many advances in display technology, even going as far as making laser illuminated projectors the standard for future theatre deployments.
Ongoing efforts to bring RBG laser projectors to theatres will result in a film viewing that has features such as high dynamic range (HDR) and brighter 3D images.
6. Emergence of Dermatology and Laser Technology
The medical devices industry is one of the most notable manufacturing industries in regards to growth, with projections to continue this pattern into later years.
Lasers have been making their mark within a variety of medical fields, such as surgical, cosmetic, dental and veterinary. One field that has been influenced substantially by emerging laser technology in particular is dermatology.
Laser-based equipment can play a part in everything from skin cancer diagnosis/treatment to wrinkle-care to skin rejuvenation. Using this type of equipment has become more appealing to patients because of things like a reduction in scarring, shorter recovery times, quicker diagnoses and less tissue damage overall.
With new equipment such as CO2 lasers emitting light beams to cut or dissolve any affected surfaces of skin tissue, the use of lasers in this branch of the medical industry could potentially be lifesaving.
Which of These Trends Resonates with You the Most? Let Us Know!
We’d love to hear from you about your thoughts on these laser trends. If you have any questions or would like to learn about all of the laser marking products that we carry, simply contact us today by filling out our short online form