Optatec – Open Innovation in Optical Technologies

Optatec 2018 Registers Bookings Boom 

Whereas up until recently the optical technologies have been dealt with for the most part by insiders only, they’ve been breaking into new applications across the board in recent years and are replacing more than just conventional techniques and processes. In addition to the more or less well-known range of applications such as solar and photovoltaics, as well as optoelectronics in industrial image processing systems and above all in laser technology, other applications for data, light and energy transmission have been appearing on the scene for some time now. Beyond this, not only within the context of minimally invasive exploratory and surgical procedures are the optical technologies literally taking focus on medical applications: highly innovative 3D printing systems are also based fundamentally on targeted use of optical technologies.

Optical Technologies on the Upswing

This list could be cheerfully continued by adding other industry sectors such as semiconductor technology, as well as solar cell and photovoltaics manufacturing. Silicon photonics can be mentioned here with regard to the former, and in connection with the latter we can cite significantly more efficient and economical production of thin-film solar cells which, as a result, is once again becoming competitive vis-à-vis mass production as currently practised in Asia. Finally, photonics is also playing a central role in the digitisation of virtually all industries because, on the basis of digital illumination technology, it’s the key to components and modules in cameras, sensors, scanners, light sources and laser systems at all performance levels.

New Applications as Market Drivers

To a given extent it would currently seem that, in addition to the above mentioned technology insiders, other industry sectors are now becoming seriously interested in possible uses and applications for optical technologies as well. The market has been significantly stimulated as a result, as the promoters of the Optatec international trade fair for optical technologies, components and systems have been delighted to observe both in the past and at present: “The 14th Optatec will not be held for another 16 months – at the Frankfurt Exhibition Centre from the 15th through the 17th of May, 2018 – but already today at the beginning of 2017, roughly 60% of the exhibitors who participated at the well-patronised Optatec 2016 have already registered for the next event. Floor space allocation is running at full bore and we’re confident that we’ll be able to top the results of the recent 13th Optatec with more than 570 exhibitors from 31 countries”, says Optatec project manager Karen Waldow.

Consistent Loyalty to the Future Market for Optical Technologies

Manufacturers and distributors from 22 countries are already represented to date, and above all exhibitors from Germany and Asia are making themselves conspicuous with early bookings. With their offerings for optical components, materials, coatings and systems for which 73% of the 5600 expert visitors from 55 countries at the last event demonstrated genuine interest, they obviously regard themselves as once again ideally positioned for success with the demanding professional audience of the internationally leading Optatec trade fair. Last but not least, the patience demonstrated by private trade fair promoters P. E. Schall GmbH & Co. KG in continuously pushing Optatec as a technical event is paying off as well, although the optical technologies have long been considered exotic technologies, from which a new and promising market can only be developed within a limited framework.