U.S. sales of industrial laser equipment and systems totaled $356.2 million for 1,210 units in 2010, rising 44.9% in unit sales over the year earlier, according to data collected by AMT, The Association for Manufacturing Technology. In monetary terms, the increase in income was an increase of 37% over the sector’s poor performance in 2009.

The trade group collects data from North American manufacturers of industrial laser equipment that participate its voluntary Laser Market Data Survey, based on transactions, which allows analysis based on equipment type, destination, application, configuration, and end user industry.

The report compiles data from 19 manufacturers and distributors.

After peaking in 2009, the number of lasers sold as full system installations (workstations and laser source) in 2010 accounted for the same share of shipments as in 2008. The value of orders configured as full systems was $309.2 million. Other configurations tallied included laser beams only (workstations) and laser source only.

The vast majority of all units sold in 2010 were CO2 lasers, 88.5% by the value of shipments ($315.3 million), a margin that is virtually the same as in 2009. By total number of units sold — 849 — CO2 lasers represented 70.2% of 2010 shipments.

A total of 361 YAG laser systems were sold in 2010, totaling $40.9 million and representing 29.8% of shipments for the year.

“The 37% pick up in 2010 is a modest rebound in the face of the nearly 50% percent decline in sales during 2009,” stated Patrick McGibbon, AMT’s v.p. Strategic Information & Research and Membership. “Prospects look bright for the remainder of 2011 as new technologies are brought to market and fiber lasers continue to expand.”