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In 2023, it will be the fifth year since GZTECH was founded, as well as the most critical year in the company's development process. As a leading enterprise in the industrial laser industry in the post-pandemic era, what are Guangzhi Technology's layout and breakthroughs in product technology and company development? What are the prospects for the future development of the laser industry? With these curiosities, we interviewed Dr. Huang Zhihua, co-founder of GZTECH.
It is reported that GZTECH is positioned as an advanced laser source supplier serving precision manufacturing. Since its establishment in 2018, the company has continued to upgrade and expand its production system and organizational structure. According to the five-step strategy of "product, project, industry, brand, platform," the company's business development has steadily advanced. Currently, it has formed an overall layout of Wuhan R&D and production headquarters and three domestic sales and service centers in Shenzhen, Suzhou, and Jinan. Its foreign trade sales team and platform have also preliminarily taken shape, making it a laser manufacturer with a certain scale and brand influence in the laser industry.
Dr. Huang Zhihua, founder of GZTECH
Laser Manufacturer News: Hello Dr. Huang, thank you very much for accepting the interview with Laser Manufacturer Intelligence. We understand that GZTECH was founded in 2018 and specializes in the research and production of high-power pulsed and continuous fiber lasers. Could you briefly introduce the company's entrepreneurial experience and current development status?
Dr. Huang Zhihua of GZTECH: GZTECH was established in May 2018 in Optics Valley, Wuhan. The name "Guanzhi" comes from "Mozi Jing Shuo Xia", which means "When light is present, shadows disappear; when light is absent, shadows appear." We believe that the 21st century is the photon era, and GZTECH is committed to using this advanced technology of lasers to illuminate the traditional manufacturing field and create incremental value for society.
In fact, GZTECH specializes in the research and production of lasers, as well as providing technical consulting and development services for laser-related electromechanical products. Our products are mainly used in the 3C/5G, photovoltaic, new energy, semiconductor, and display panel industries.
The founding team of GZTECH has more than 10 years of experience in technical research and development, with profound theoretical analysis, technical R&D, and engineering experience. After nearly five years of development, the company's headquarter in Wuhan now has an office and a clean workshop covering approximately 5000 square meters, and has branch offices in Shenzhen, Suzhou, Jinan, and other places.
I sincerely hope that colleagues in the laser industry can work together to make laser equipment become a fundamental productive tool for intelligent manufacturing.
Laser Manufacturer News: As a new player in the field of laser technology, what are the bright spots in GZTECH's products, and what technological breakthroughs have you achieved?
Dr. Huang Zhihua from GZTECH: In 2022, GZTECH achieved significant breakthroughs in three main areas of product technology: first, high-power peak fiber pulse amplification technology with high average power; second, high-power and high-efficiency non-linear second harmonic generation technology; third, solid-state cavity and production process technology with high reliability and long service life for high-power UV lasers.
Since its establishment, GZTECH has been focusing on providing customers with higher performance and quality products. The MOPA pulse laser is the company's first complete product series, including four main product lines: GM, GL, GT, and GMC, with more than 100 product models covering the entire power range from 20 watts to 1000 watts.
In 2022, GZTECH completed its product layout for nanosecond pulse lasers in the infrared, green, and ultraviolet wavelengths. For the infrared product line, the company launched 750W and 1000W MOPA nanosecond pulse lasers. In the green laser product line, the company achieved breakthroughs in short and long pulse width fiber green lasers at 80W. And for the UV laser product line, the 5W to 30W nanosecond high-power solid-state UV laser of the UV product part has realized product finalization and mass production delivery.
1000W Single Mode MOPA Pulsed Laser
Laser Manufacturer News: In the field of technology applications, GZTECH has developed a complete series of pulsed fiber lasers covering power levels from 20W to 1000W, with shipments of pulsed fiber lasers with power levels above 500W being domestically leading. Could you please tell me about the company's current industry layout and future development strategy?
Dr. Huang Zhihua from GZTECH: In the next ten years, we will continue to focus on the new energy market represented by lithium-ion batteries, photovoltaics, and hydrogen fuel, and vigorously expand into industry-specific markets such as laser cleaning and hard and brittle material processing. Additionally, over the next three years, GZTECH will gradually establish infrared, green, and UV laser products under nanosecond, picosecond, and femtosecond pulse working regimes, providing customers with more diverse laser processing solutions. Furthermore, in addition to industrial products, infrared also collaborates with well-known domestic universities and research institutes to conduct cutting-edge laser source development work.
Green Fiber Pulse Laser
Laser Manufacturer News: As an advanced laser source supplier for precision manufacturing, what are the advantages of GZTECH in terms of R&D accumulation, product technology, and practical applications?
Dr. Huang Zhihua of GZTECH: In 2022, GZTECH preliminarily completed the market layout with Wuhan as the production and R&D center, and Shenzhen, Suzhou, and Jinan as the sales and service centers in South China, East China, and North China, respectively.
In fact, in the past few years, GZTECH's R&D investment each year accounted for no less than 10% of its revenue, because high-intensity investment guarantees the company's core competitiveness, and continuous high-intensity investment is a marathon that will not stop in the future.
Thanks to the multiple-point layout, despite the impact of pandemic control measures in various regions in 2022, GZTECH has always been able to ensure stable operation of the core business and minimize adverse effects. In 2022, we achieved about 80% of the planned targets at the beginning of the year and still achieved high-speed business growth in the unfavorable situation of the pandemic.
In addition, relying on a young team, GZTECH has also made breakthroughs in market development and new product research and development.
Laser Manufacturer News: In addition to domestic business, GZTECH has also begun to initiate overseas business. Could you tell me how the company is expanding the overseas market?
Dr. Huang Zhihua of GZTECH: In addition to domestic business, GZTECH started to expand foreign trade business at the end of 2021. The company established a foreign trade team and launched comprehensive foreign trade promotion work, including Alibaba International Station, Google English website, LinkedIn official account, etc.
After more than a year of efforts, the company has made some breakthroughs in the foreign trade market, and has had some transactional customers in India, Brazil, Mexico, and Europe, and the customers are very satisfied with the products. With the reintegration of the global manufacturing supply chain, the overseas market will become an important market segment for the laser industry in the future.
Laser Manufacturer News: In recent years, the development of China's laser industry has been rapid, and many excellent enterprises have emerged. What gaps do you think we still have compared to foreign laser powers? What are our advantages?
Dr. Huang Zhihua of GZTECH: In recent years, China's laser industry has developed rapidly and gradually realized independent research and development of some core technologies and devices. However, compared with laser powers abroad, there are still certain gaps in our laser industry: First, there is a technological gap, such as disk laser with fast speed, which may not have matching products in China yet; Compared with this kind of old-fashioned laser companies with deep accumulation in technology and products, IPG has a complete layout in the field of fiber lasers. Second, there is a gap in application. Many applications were first developed abroad, where foreign companies could access the most advanced applications and improve product performance according to product requirements. Third, there is a gap in product quality and low-price competition. Some laser companies have given up the performance requirements and quality control of products in order to pursue price advantages.
Of course, in addition to the gaps, Chinese laser companies also have their own advantages: First, facing a vast domestic market, they can provide more efficient and convenient localized services; Second, in recent years, domestic enterprise technical research and development capabilities have improved rapidly, and they can propose their own precision machining product solutions; Third, they have cost-performance advantages in product iteration and upgrading.
As is well known, the domestic laser industry has been continuously promoting the localization process, from the earliest core components such as fiber materials and optical devices, even electronic control chips were imported, to now the pump sources, fibers, and devices have basically achieved localization, and some core materials are still being promoted for localization.
It is worth mentioning that the overall product development capabilities of the domestic laser industry and the upstream and downstream supporting industrial chains are becoming more and more perfect. In the field of lasers, there are many entrepreneurs who originate from research institutes or returned from overseas. This represents that the entire Chinese manufacturing industry is constantly expanding towards high-end and gradually realizing import substitution.
Solid UV pulsed laser
Laser Manufacturer News: What are your thoughts on the development trends of lasers? How do you view the future development direction of China's laser industry?
Dr. Huang Zhihua of GZTECH: For China's laser industry, industrial laser equipment has seen rapid development over the past decade, with an increasingly broad range of applications. However, compared to many other industrial sectors, the laser industry is still relatively small.
If lasers can become a fundamental tool for future intelligent manufacturing, the application of laser equipment will expand significantly, promoting the continued high-speed development of the laser industry. The penetration rate of China's laser industry in the entire manufacturing industry is still low, and there are still a large number of unexpanded areas to be developed, and the future market space is still large.
For GZTECH, on the one hand, we have benefited from the localization achievements of the laser industry chain in the past ten years; on the other hand, we are also promoters of progress and innovation in subdivision categories of laser products.
I think laser companies should actively embrace changes in the times, embrace new industries and applications, strive to develop new products, and expand incremental markets.
In the future, GZTECH will focus on completing the categories of industrial laser products, expanding customer groups and application industries, and strengthening brand recognition and market position.