Tech giant acquires majority stake in Fraunhofer spin-off

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Modular machine for laser micromachining with ultrashort laser pulses. Image: Pulsar Photonics

Billion-euro technology group, Schunk, is acquiring a majority stake in Pulsar Photonics in a bid to enter the laser technology market.

Founded in 2013, Pulsar Photonics is a spin-off from the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology and is based near Aachen, Germany where around 40 employees work. 

The company develops and produces machines and systems for materials processing with short- and ultrashort-pulse lasers. These solutions include systems to increase process speed, for example through beam shaping or multi-beam processing, as well as machine-integrated measurement technology to ensure consistent process results. 

According to the Financial Times and Statista, Pulsar Photonics is one of the one thousand fastest growing companies in Europe.

The Schunk Group employs around 9,000 people in 29 countries, with a €1.2bn iturnover in 2020. It supplies products made of high-tech materials – such as carbon, technical ceramics and sintered metal – as well as machines and systems – from environmental simulation and air conditioning to ultrasonic welding and optical machines. Turnover of the Schunk Group was €1.2 bn in 2020.

'For Schunk, ultrashort pulse laser technology is a technology extension with which we are further deepening our expertise in optics and photonics,' said Dr Arno Roth, CEO of the Schunk Group. 

Peter Manolopoulos, member of the management board of the Schunk Group and responsible for the business unit OptoTech, added: 'The integration of ultrashort pulse laser technology now opens up completely new possibilities in our business with machines and systems for the optical industry in the processing of optical components with the highest precision and quality.'

Ultrashort pulse lasers could also be used to process Schunk's high-tech materials, such as technical ceramics or graphite, in new ways, opening up new application possibilities. 'We see growth opportunities here for laser technology as well as synergies in project handling, purchasing and sales through integration into our global OptoTech network.' said Manolopoulos.

Dr Jens Holtkamp, one of the Pulsar Photonics three founding managing directors, said: 'Schunk's financial strength and the technology company's existing networks around the world open up entirely new opportunities for us to further develop our cutting-edge technologies and market them globally.'

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