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Laser technology to witness rise after imposition of anti-dumping duty

Laser technology to witness rise after imposition of anti-dumping duty

January 31, 2024 7:38 pm

Mr. Mani Narayanan, Managing Director of Messer Cutting Systems India Pvt. Ltd., discusses their new product launches at IMTEX, the booming laser technology market, and plans for innovation.

What was the primary focus of your presence at IMTEX?

Our presence at IMTEX 2024 was solely to introduce our latest product, as we typically only attend when unveiling something new. We always refrain from participating in IMTEX with an existing product. The event occurs once every two years, giving us time to conceive and develop new products for launch here. We’ve been absent over the last four years due to the pandemic. To replace this, we hosted open houses at our company for the past two years, showcasing our new products. This year marks our return after a four-year hiatus, during which we have developed a material handling automation solution for both laser and plasma technologies. We have introduced a laser Bevel, a unique offering not currently available from any Indian manufacturer.

What is your manufacturing outlook for the laser industry?

There has been tremendous growth in laser technology over the past five years. In 2018, only 300 to 350 machines were in the market, but today, there are around 3000 machines, showing a tenfold increase despite a two-year downturn due to the pandemic. In contrast, the plasma market has remained stable or slightly declined, indicating our need to focus on the laser business for survival.

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Messer began manufacturing lasers about six years ago and has established a comprehensive infrastructure in Coimbatore, equipped with everything needed for laser machine production, ensuring top-quality manufacturing. However, after the pandemic, we faced challenges from Chinese competitors who flooded the market with machines priced significantly lower than the existing market prices. These were even half or one-third of our prices, leading to a competitive “war-like” situation. The welcoming probe by the government was done when they recently imposed an anti-dumping duty (ADD), which is expected to level the playing field in pricing. With the ADD in place, we anticipate the potential for scaling up our operations over the next two years. While some gaps in the ADD policy still need addressing, we believe there is significant potential for growth in the laser market, benefiting Indian manufacturers.

What are your future plans?

We have extensive strategies in place for the future. We typically work on a two-year advance timeline, with plans already on the drawing board for what we intend to bring to the market. However, the progress was halted after the onset of Chinese dumping, but we anticipate resuming our initiatives with the implementation of ADD. We can provide a comprehensive range of solutions for the laser industry, covering plate cutting, bevel cutting, tube cutting, pipe cutting, and various machine configurations like long machines and shuttle tables. Any gaps in our offerings are continuously being addressed, leveraging our robust 20-member R&D team alongside global R&D resources to bridge any disparities we encounter.

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