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On May 15th, GZTECH's fifth anniversary celebration and new product launch technical exchange conference was successfully held in Wuhan Optics Valley. With the theme of "Start a new tour after five-year entrepreneurship," GZTECH invited more than a hundred people including company clients, industry associations, and media to witness the event together.
"Illuminate all things, sincerely and profoundly." Along the way, GZTECH takes "A leading supplier of advanced lasers for precision manufacturing" as its development vision, adheres to the concept of long-termism, and implements the strategy of small steps and fast running. OFweek was invited to participate in the fifth anniversary celebration and conducted an interview with Dr. Huang Zhihua, founder and CEO of GZTECH.
How does this five-year-old start-up company establish itself in the highly competitive laser market? By relying on technology to drive progress and taking the path of conquering segmented industries? After primary school graduation, how will it become a large-scale enterprise on a new journey?
"Despite being a startup for five years and enduring three years of fighting against the COVID 19, we have finally established our product team and market after many struggles. We continue to persist in our efforts, climb new heights, delve deep into technology industry platforms, and start a new journey." Dr. Huang summed up the development process of GZTECH in the fifth anniversary with these two sentences. As the name suggests, since its establishment in 2018, GZTECH has spent three years fighting against the COVID-19. Even so, the company has still managed to build a relatively complete product series and organizational team under a challenging environment, and has gained a market share with its technology and products in segmented industries.
"Primary school graduation" is Dr. Huang's phase assessment of GZTECH's achievements in the past five years, marking a new milestone for the company. "Primary school graduation" has two meanings: first, compared to industry leaders such as Trumpf, Coherent, and IPG with a development history of thirty to fifty years, GZTECH is still in its infancy, and its technology capabilities need further accumulation; second, in terms of the company's long-term goals, its current level of development is equivalent to an primary school level, and the company will launch higher-end laser products, establish a more complete technical system, enter more complex industrial applications, and build larger-scale delivery capabilities and business systems in the future.
"We adhere to a philosophy of long-termism, have long-term development goals, and can endure this process in the long run." The founder's style largely determines a company's style. Dr. Huang said that GZTECH neither does anything beyond its current ability nor is satisfied with staying at the current level. Like running a marathon, taking small steps quickly and working consistently is what enables GZTECH to grow into a company that has a certain market size and recognition as well as product characteristics in the increasingly competitive domestic industrial laser field.
What are GZTECH's technology and products?
It is understood that GZTEHC has authorized 47 intellectual property rights including 30 patents, 13 software copyrights, and 4 trademarks. The company currently has more than 220 employees, with the research and development team accounting for over 30%, and annual R&D investment accounting for about 15%.
"Most customers still only know us for our MOPA pulsed lasers, which is our first product series." Dr. Huang said that the company also intends to introduce the complete product layout to customers and break the previous cognition by holding a new product launch conference at the fifth anniversary event.
The first section is the MOPA product series, where GZTECH has launched three products in the 1000W power range, namely GM, GMC, and GMQ, with high reliability, stability, and adjustability. "High-power MOPA pulsed lasers will have many new applications in lithium batteries, cleaning, welding, and other fields in the future. The application of 1000W-level pulsed lasers is just beginning in China," Dr. Huang said, and that the company took this opportunity to introduce the technical preparations in this field to customers, and GZTECH should be the leading level in this field in China.
The second section is the fiber green laser product, which includes nano-second short-pulse fiber green laser and nano-second long-pulse fiber green laser. These products are mainly aimed at the photovoltaic industry's applications. "Photovoltaics are developing very rapidly in the current emerging new energy industry sector, and we also have a continuous product layout."
The third section is the high-power UV series of products, including 3W/5W air-cooling UV and 5W to 30W water-cooling UV nanosecond pulsed lasers. This is a complete product series launched by GZTECH in 2022, and it is currently continuously enriching its range of products.
In fact, in the past one or two years, GZTECH has done a lot of work in expanding product categories. "Our products are first oriented to higher specfication levels; second, they are oriented to specific, emerging industry application fields, especially new energy; third, they incorporate unique micro-innovation functions in some applications."Dr. Huang said.
What are GZTECH's future plans? Dr. Huang summarizes it into four aspects: expanding product categories, increasing delivery capacity, targeting new industries, and strengthening management.
GZTECH will gradually expand its matrix of pulsed laser source products in the precision machining field, continuously improving laser source products with different pulse width systems and wavelength systems. "We now have basically complete infrared, green, and UV products in the nanosecond segment, as well as some products in the picosecond to femtosecond ranges, but they are not yet complete. We will increase our product layout in this area to meet customers' more diverse needs."
"Our delivery scale will exceed 10,000 units this year," said Dr. Huang. For GZTECH, achieving this scale marks a big step forward in the company's entire production and delivery system, service system, and business system. The internal management also needs to be upgraded to accommodate scaled business and further enhance the company's size.
This has been GZTECH's focus since its inception. After reaching a certain level of business volume, new growth points must come from the large-scale demand of emerging industries. The source of growth requires us to actively seek out emerging and segmented industries with growth potential and application value, launching products with advantages.
Currently, the company has established five major centers: Comprehensive Management Center, Marketing Center, Research and Development Engineering Center, Production Delivery Center, and Material Control Center. In terms of team, the company now has over 200 employees, nearly 30 of which are middle managers. GZTECH will promote the training of internal middle-level management personnel to make the management system more standardized and operationally more efficient and stable.
Looking back on the past five years, Dr. Huang said that first of all, he would like to thank customers for their encouragement and support. In the early stage, when some products were not so mature, they were able to give GZTECH a chance to try. "When I visited customers in the early days, the most common question I heard was that who will fix your laser after three years?" This question touched Dr. Huang, prompting him to ensure the company's long-term survival and provide stable long-term guarantees to customers through a long-termism philosophy, leaving time to test it. "After five years of development, I don't think any of our clients ask that question today."
Dr. Huang also expressed special thanks to the early team members of the company. During the dinner, eight old employees cut birthday cakes with Dr. Huang, sending their birthday wishes to GZTECH. Starting a business is difficult, and a company's long-term success largely depends on the team's success. Everyone has worked hard and borne great pressure. "The formation of this team represents the biggest asset that GZTECH has accumulated over the past few years."
Looking forward to the future, Dr. Huang hopes that customers will continue to support GZTECH as before, continuously spurring the company's progress, especially when new fields and applications emerge. He hopes to work together in collaborative research to promote the development of lasers in new industries. Dr. Huang also hopes that the company's new and old employees will keep up with the pace of organizational development, continuously improve their capabilities, and emerge a group of talents who can stand alone on the platform of GZTECH.