China experienced a nearly 60% year-over-year increase in sales of BLT metal 3D printing.

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Xi’an Bright Laser Technologies (BLT), a prominent original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in China’s metal additive manufacturing (AM) industry, has announced its financial results for the first half of 2023. The report highlights a significant increase in sales, with a 58.53 percent growth compared to the same period in 2022. Another noteworthy achievement is BLT’s market capitalization, which currently stands at $2.51 billion, almost twice the combined market cap of the two largest publicly-traded US 3D printing companies, Stratasys and 3D Systems.

Interestingly, BLT’s performance on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SHA) has been in contrast to the overall index trend. While the SHA experienced a decline of about 4 percent over the past six months, BLT witnessed a 20 percent surge. This impressive growth coincided with a rumor from Ming-Chi Kuo, an Apple analyst at the Hong Kong investment bank TF International, suggesting that BLT may be involved in the production of the upcoming Apple Watch Ultra. Although Apple later confirmed the use of 3D printing on the device, it specified that it would employ a different technology called binder jetting, whereas BLT and another company mentioned by Kuo, Farsoon, specialize in powder bed fusion (PBF) platforms. Nevertheless, this rumor, while unconfirmed, indicates the potential for BLT to expand its scope to include consumer goods, which it has focused on through its new research and development facility in Shanghai, particularly in the electronics and smart devices sector.

Currently, BLT derives 52.29 percent of its business from the aerospace sector and has 39.76 percent of its customers in the industrial machinery sector. Therefore, even if mass production of consumer goods using 3D printing does not materialize in the near future, BLT is primed to provide crucial components to the industrial machinery market that underpins the consumer electronics industry. Moreover, as China aims to optimize its domestic manufacturing ecosystem to secure Huawei’s supply chains, BLT’s expertise and growth indicate its potential contribution to the country’s future economic phases. Regardless of the exact nature of BLT’s key growth drivers, one certainty remains: the company is poised for continuous expansion.

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