Concept Laser’s 15th anniversary in 2015 is a brilliant performance – and it has the figures to prove it. After revenue growth of 75% in 2014, Concept Laser consolidated its growth at a high level with a further 35% revenue increase in the first six months of 2015. While 45 systems were sold in the same period of the previous year, the company has already received 68 orders this year, a significant increase of roughly 50%.
Concept Laser’s growth continues unabated in 2015. Frank Herzog, CEO & President of Concept Laser: “We are very proud that we not only succeeded in maintaining the great growth from last year, but have even managed to build on it. That shows that we are still moving in the right direction. However, anyone who knows Concept Laser knows that our passion for technology and the strong drive for innovation will not allow us to rest on our laurels. As a result, I can assure you that our research and development department is already working on new projects which will change future manufacturing processes sustainably.”
2015 semi-annual financial statements indicate growth
The continued rising acceptance of additive manufacturing in the markets and the attractiveness of laser melting systems from the Lichtenfels-based manufacturer are reflected once again in Concept Laser’s growth figures. In the first six months of 2015, orders were placed for 68 machines (1st 6 months of 2014: 45 machines). This is equivalent to growth of 51% compared to last year (cut-off date June 30, 2015). In addition to this, the revenue as of June 30, 2015 was 35% higher than in the same period of the previous year. Once again, the revenue growth was solely due to sales of large-scale systems in the 1000W laser class, and demand from the aerospace industry in the USA. Staff numbers also increased by a further 30% compared with 2014 in the first half of 2015.
Large-scale system segment fills order books and boosts revenue
Demand for the X line 1000R remained high in the 1st half of 2015, driving our revenue. From January 2015 on, the new X line 2000R® supplemented our range in the large-scale system segment. It combines a large build envelope with increased build rates. With a build envelope of 800x400x500 mm3, the X line 2000R® currently offers more space than any other system for laser melting metals. The X line 2000R®’s multilaser technology with variable optics has a direct effect on the exposure time. Its heart, the dual laser system in the X line 2000®, is based on two 1,000 watt lasers. The useful build volume is also increased a further 27% from 126 l to 160 l compared with an X line 1000R. The X line 2000R® also features a new sieving station that uses a quiet vibrating sieve instead of the tumbler sieve. The concept is incredibly compact, as the oversized particle container is now smaller, and has been integrated into the sieving station. The dosing unit is filled completely and fully automatically within one cycle. Compared with competitors’ systems, the X line 2000R® offers almost three to four times the build volume. Key buyers are from the automotive and aerospace sectors.
Expansion of infrastructure progresses
The new manufacturing facility in Lichtenfels, with 3,500 m² of floor space, was already running at full capacity in the first half of 2015. It increases Concept Laser’s system production capacity by a factor of 2.5. The logistics centre, which is also new, pulls the strings for global logistics management in a 1,000 m² facility. It processes incoming goods, outgoing goods, machine dispatch and supplies of spare and wearing parts. A team of external consultants optimised the plant intralogistics for the value stream. To cope with the strong sales of machines, the warehouse handling area was quadrupled in size, while the parts flow and the throughput times were accelerated. Overall, Concept Laser is also structurally ideally prepared for continued growth, and will make further investments in its infrastructure in future.
Outlook for the second half of 2015
All signs on the global markets indicate that the trend set in the first six months will continue in the second half of the year. Following sales of 110 systems in the previous year, the Lichtenfels-based company expects this figure to reach more than 150 machines by the end of this year. Revenue growth is forecast to remain at 35% for the entire 2015 financial year. Frank Herzog, CEO & President of Concept Laser: “We are pleased to announce that growth will stabilise at a high level.” Accordingly, the plant engineering provider also plans to introduce new products at the upcoming formnext powered by TCT trade fair in Frankfurt. The company’s R&D activities are running at a high level. This suggests that it will introduce further innovations in laser melting technology in the second half of 2015 and the following financial year. For example, Concept Laser, which has been focusing on quality monitoring since 2004, will supplement QMmeltpool, introduced in 2010, with QMmeltpool 3D. This tool will allow position-related real-time monitoring and three-dimensional visualisation of the part. It identifies and analyses local effects that arise during building of the part clearly. In addition to this, Concept Laser, which is also a pioneer in the field of quality assurance/monitoring for laser melting with metals, is already working simultaneously on other modules, which will take the sector to a whole new level.