MCLEAN, VA--North American industrial laser manufacturers posted worldwide sales of more than $173.1 million during the third quarter of 2000, an increase of more than 30 percent compared with the same period in 1999.

According to the Laser Systems Product Group of the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), sales within North America totaled $125.2 million, while exports amounted to $48 million. Approximately 45 percent of the lasers sold were the CO2 variety, and more than 80 percent of sales were complete systems (a laser source and a workstation). Just under half of the lasers sold in the third quarter of 2000 were for cutting applications.

The AMT's data come from a quarterly survey of 45 North American suppliers of laser equipment.