Balzers, March 16, 2010 – Optics Balzers, a leading supplier of innovative optical thin-film components and assemblies, is continuing its growth in great strides. With its acquisition of “mso jena Mikroschichtoptik GmbH” in Jena, Germany, it is expanding its competencies and manufacturing technologies into a unique portfolio. Thanks to its new Optics affiliate in Jena, the Liechtenstein-based company now has a production site in the EU which is at the very top level in terms of research and development competence as well as production technology. In synergy with the high competencies available in Balzers and its dense international distribution organization, new market opportunities are being unlocked. This will generate additional, sustainable growth and thus also secure the jobs at the two sites.
Caption: Optics Balzers continues its breathtaking pace. From left to right: Dr. Martin Kaspar (Managing Director Balzers), Dr. Stefan Jakobs (Managing Director Jena), Alex Vogt (CEO), and Dirk von Frajer (Head of Marketing & Sales)
“The industry is under enormous cost and performance pressure! By providing innovative solutions and a unique range of optical thin-film components and assemblies, we will make a substantial contribution to our customers’ success. We will therefore bundle our capabilities as a leading European supplier of optical coatings and components, continuously refine them, and offer them to our customers from a single source,” says CEO Alex Vogt, summarizing one of the objectives of Optics Balzers. The acquisition of mso jena Mikroschichtoptik GmbH, says Alex Vogt, is a further step in this direction.
Generating added value for customers: expanded technology portfolio from a single source
With its 25 highly motivated scientific and technical specialists, mso jena is a rather small business in comparison to the headquarters. What generates true added value for customers are the different strengths of the sites in Balzers and Jena, the resulting synergies, the complementary competencies, and the greater closeness to customers. Together with its new affiliate, Optics Balzers now covers a range of products and services from a single source which is unique worldwide. It offers customized solutions – from production of single units to demanding high-volume manufacture – for a wide variety of requirements and markets. In this, the competence teams in Balzers and Jena often go to the limits of what is technically feasible, thus proactively shaping technological progress. For example, mso jena was one of the first companies to apply optical broadband monitoring for controlling coating processes. One of its special capabilities is to apply optical filters to 8-inch wafers with photodetectors.
Closer to customers through competent local contacts
Another advantage which customers will benefit from is created by the competent local contacts. Optics Balzers has a broad international marketing & sales organization – a dense network of its own experts and specialist partners – which extends across Europe, the U.S., Canada, and China. In addition, two production sites provided with state-of-the-art production equipment increase the company’s power and its ability to satisfy the most rigorous requirements. Optics Balzers has thus come a decisive step closer to fulfilling its vision of being the preferred partner of the global photonics industry.
New growth opportunities for the site in Jena
Optics Balzers Jena is headed by Dr. Stefan Jakobs. He is assisted by Uwe Schallenberg as Head of Research & Development. With Stefan Jakobs and Uwe Schallenberg, the two former owners and founders will remain available to mso jena. All employees will continue to be active in their present functions, ensuring business continuity. mso jena is working intensely on the further development of optical technologies and is regularly involved in research projects. This is no coincidence, since the as yet still young company emerged from an industry cluster. Jena, located in the German federal state of Thüringen, looks back on more than a century-old tradition as a stronghold of optical technology. Following the German reunion, this branch of industry experienced a new upswing. Today, Jena is considered as the European center of the optical industry, where research and training facilities (Fraunhofer Institut für Optik und Feinmechanik, Institut für Photonische Hochtechnologien, etc.), specialized vendors, and global system producers have settled. This know-how, bundled with existing competencies, provides a powerful network made up of industry, science, and research – an ideal basis for developing promising future product innovations and creating new jobs at both sites.
For over 60 years now, Optics Balzers has been the preferred partner for innovative optical solutions. Together with its affiliated company in Jena, Optics Balzers is one of the global leaders in the supply of optical coatings and components. The Liechtenstein-based high-tech company focuses on selected markets such as Advanced Lighting, Biophotonics, Fluorescence Microscopy, Laser & Defense, Projection Display, Sensors & Imaging, and Space. The products and services that it offers range from optical thin-film coatings, glass processing, patterning and sealing technologies to optical subassemblies, and are acknowledged as being unique worldwide. Optics Balzers has some 170 employees.
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