17. April 2018

Optical technologies are booming

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Optatec shows innovative application possibilities

Whether in the solar industry, industrial image processing, laboratory technology or microelectronics – without optical technologies nothing works in many places today. The international trade fair for optical technologies, Optatec, takes this into account from May 15 to 17, 2018. Numerous innovations will be on display at the Frankfurt International Exhibition Center.

Optical technologies experience sales growth

In 2017, the 330 German manufacturers of analytical, bioanalytical and laboratory technology generated sales of 8.71 billion euros. This corresponds to an increase of eleven percent compared to the previous year, announced the industry association SPECTARIS. Positive impetus came from domestic (+ 14.5 %) and international business (+ 7.9 %). The forecasts for the current year are also extremely good, he said. Sales growth for 2018 is expected to be of a similar magnitude.

Optical technologies have a broad industrial base in Germany. But photonics, biophotonics and photovoltaics are also on the rise internationally. “A fact that we are also noticing at Optatec, which is becoming increasingly international. We’re currently hosting exhibitors from 32 nations,” reports project manager Karen Waldow from trade fair promoter P.E. Schall GmbH & Co KG. Given an export ratio of 52 percent, demand from abroad is an important basis for industry growth. A good 40 percent of German exports of analytical, bioanalytical and laboratory technology currently go to EU countries. Exports to the USA and China are also in double digits.

Numerous application possibilities increase sales

Important customer channels for manufacturers are currently industry, the public sector, and the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors. Around 85 percent of domestic sales are generated here. “Optical technologies are benefiting from higher quality requirements in manufacturing, the continued rise of renewable energy, and the growing pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors,” explains Ms. Waldow. The concept of Optatec is to cover mainly the trend areas. According to the project manager, the principle of all sound trade fairs is to offer concrete utility value in the application of the exhibited technologies. To promote the transfer from science to practice, Ms. Waldow attaches great importance to a framework program that includes best practices. Those who want to learn more or make new contacts can take part in the Optatec exhibitor forum, for example. The Science Slam by OptecNet on the Tuesday of the trade fair is entertaining, where knowledge is presented in a new format. The absolute highlight will be the Optical Systems Design Conference organized by SPIE Europe, which will be held concurrently with the trade show.

Transferring theory into practice through best practices at Optatec

Numerous workshops and lectures, where exhibitors report on their experiences and invite colleagues as well as visitors to follow and participate, ensure an optimal transfer of optical technologies into daily work. The areas of personnel recruiting and training/education will also not be neglected at Optatec. The Technology Park Education & Research “Studying Photonics” is hosted by five strongly committed German universities. Here, the focus is on the target groups of pupils and students.