Stay Safe with Handheld Laser Welding: Essential Precautions | MachineMFG

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Stay Safe with Handheld Laser Welding: Essential Precautions

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The handheld laser welding system has quickly become popular in the market due to its advantages such as high welding quality, flexible welding methods, and ease of use.

However, it’s essential to pay extra attention to safety precautions during its usage to avoid personal injury.

Handheld laser welding machines have become a popular product in the laser market in recent years, especially in the past year where social media has been flooded with videos of operators using handheld laser welding guns to demonstrate the welding of various metal products.

With excellent welding quality, flexible welding methods, and easy-to-use advantages, handheld laser welding machines quickly gained popularity in many applications that traditionally require argon arc welding, earning user recognition and favor.

Once considered a tool only for high-end processing needs, laser welding is now expanding into new “sink markets” such as aluminum alloy doors and windows, stainless steel pipes, metal fences, bathroom fixtures, custom furniture, handicrafts, chassis, water tanks, equipment cabinets, stainless steel guardrails, and other products that often require irregular welding and do not need fixtures.

Handheld laser welding machines are the perfect tool for this new market.

The rapid development of handheld laser welding has attracted many light source and equipment manufacturers to enter the market. Many light guide fiber laser manufacturers are providing light sources for handheld welding equipment.

Industry leaders like IPG, which provides not only light sources but also complete handheld laser welding systems. Other industry giants like Han’s Laser and HG Technology have also joined the market. Hundreds of companies are now offering handheld laser welding systems, highlighting the market’s heat.

Data from relevant organizations shows that since 2018, the compound annual growth rate of the handheld laser welding market has exceeded 100% each year. It is anticipated that there will be around 700 manufacturers of handheld laser welding equipment active in the market in 2023, demonstrating explosive growth in just two to three years.

Currently, the demand for traditional welders is around 10 million units per year, indicating huge potential for substitution and considerable growth space in the coming years.

The Driving Factors Behind the Popularity of Handheld Laser Welding Machines

The driving factors behind the popularity of handheld laser welding machines are often a result of a good match between supply and demand or a new product with overwhelming advantages that can replace old products.

(1) Difficulty in Recruiting Welders

For handheld laser welding, the market demand is affected by a shortage of welders.

Firstly, welders belong to a special occupation that requires certification before they can work, which greatly limits the number of available workers.

Secondly, young people today are increasingly unwilling to enter factories, making it difficult to recruit workers, especially skilled welders who are “hard to come by.”

Finally, welders rely on their craftsmanship to make a living, which places high demands on their skills. If their workmanship is poor, it directly leads to product scrap and cost losses.

The scarcity of welders and the high cost of skilled welders have led to an increase in manpower costs. Therefore, sheet metal fabrication companies are seeking low-cost and high-standard welding solutions.

(2) Intense Competition in the Fiber Laser Market Drives the Search for New Markets

One of the most basic and essential components of handheld laser welding machines is the laser, with most currently using fiber lasers. It is well known that the fiber laser market has been fiercely competitive in recent years, particularly in the low-to-medium power market.

With the rise of domestic manufacturers, the price of fiber lasers has dropped significantly. Now, the price of a handheld welding machine ranges from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands, which many sheet metal manufacturers can still afford.

On the other hand, fiber laser manufacturers are also striving to find new stages for low-to-medium power products outside the intensely competitive high-power market. The emergence of new demand in traditional handheld welding applications coincides with this effort.

(3) Advantages of Handheld Laser Welding Machines Compared to Traditional Argon Arc Welding

Handheld laser welding machines have many advantages compared to traditional argon arc welding.

Firstly, they are easy to use and do not require certification for workers. With simple training, workers can operate the machine.

Secondly, there is a variety of welding methods available. It can perform butt welding, overlap welding, stack welding, fillet welding, lap welding, and through welding, among others.

Thirdly, the welding is strong, with a beautiful seam that requires no post-weld grinding and does not use consumables (except when the gap is greater than 0.5mm, in which case welding wire is needed). Compared to traditional welding, it is 2-10 times faster, has lower energy consumption, and can reduce usage costs.

Fourthly, handheld laser welding machines can be equipped with a variety of welding nozzles and can weld workpieces at any angle or position. It can complete welding in one step without deformation.

Finally, handheld laser welding machines can weld a wide range of materials, including stainless steel plates, iron plates, galvanized sheets, and aluminum sheets (but cannot weld brass or too thin materials. The thickness of the welded plate is usually required to be above 0.5mm).

Although the initial purchase cost of handheld laser welding systems is relatively high, considering the numerous advantages, many customers are still willing to invest in them in the long term.

Therefore, the combination of market demand, reduced prices for fiber lasers, and the many advantages of handheld laser welding machines has contributed to the popularity of the market.

Perhaps in the near future, handheld laser welding machines will become a universal tool like Bosch electric drills and may even enter ordinary households, helping people achieve various creative DIY projects.

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