Wolfgang Gries was one of the first tenants at the new Microsystems and Materials Centre ZMM. Set up just recently, his company DirectPhotonics GmbH manufactures industrial lasers for processing materials, e.g. for cutting or welding metals in car making. Also based in Adlershof, AEMtec GmbH has long since left its setup phase behind and is evolving magnificently. In the summer it will be setting another milestone in the form of its own company building.
The decision in favour of this location could not have been more obvious: “The ZMM is the ideal setup location,” explained Gries, listing among its attributes a “perfectly prepared infrastructure with clean rooms and laboratory space”, “skilled personnel with excellent qualifications” and an “optimal network” of 55 companies operating in the field of optical technologies, photonics and optics in Adlershof. The excellent infrastructure, the cluster of microsystem technology companies and the vicinity to universities and research institutes are attracting a growing number of founders to Adlershof. The omens promise growth – also for Wolfgang Gries. His company now employs nine and he has leased 250 square metres in the ZMM – that is half a floor – with the option of extending the lease to the whole floor. “Conventional techniques are still being used for 90–95 percent of the work on materials in industry, i.e. sawing, electric welding, mechanical drilling,” explained Gries. He is convinced that the growing expectations for quality and new materials like modern carbon fibres will fuel the industry’s demand for lasers. His customers include so called “integrators”, manufacturers of complex cutting systems for sheet metal.
Likewise based in Adlershof, AEMtec has long left its setup phase behind. The company has learned to pull through in difficult times as well and has now “made a considerable leap forwards”, in the words of Managing Director Jan Trommershausen. AEMtec could raise its turnover from 21.5 million Euro in 2010 to 35 million Euro in 2011 and its payroll grew from 83 to 130. According to Trommershausen, the number of orders grew across all departments. The company’s core business is miniaturised and complex electronic circuitry integrating so called high end chip level technologies like CoB and flip chip. The chip on board (CoB) technology mounts diverse chips without their housings in the smallest possible space directly on a substrate (e.g. plastic film, ceramic, glass). AEMtec’s customers come from data and telecommunication, medical engineering, car making, industrial electronics and sensors and the consumer goods industry. The chip modules can be found in such diverse end products like airbags, pressure gauges, mobile phones, digital cameras, meters, receivers and navigation systems.
As a Siemens spinoff, AEMtec was set up in Adlershof eleven years ago – and today fosters a close relationship e.g. with the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM. Trommershausen is also looking forward to the new Berlin/Brandenburg airport that will be commencing operation in June. “That will be interesting particularly to our customers.” AEMtec is firmly rooted in the southeast of Berlin: the summer will see the start of construction on the new AEMtec building with clean rooms, laboratory space and offices on about 4000 square metres.
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