28. February 2017

Going Strong after 25 Years

Loptek, a company specialised on fibre glass, has moved manufacturing to the Technology Park

Olaf Raitza, Loptek
Olaf Raitza
2017 was a special year for Loptek GmbH & Co. KG. The company, which specialises on fibre optical light guides, fiber optic systems and precision mechanics, moved into its brand-new headquarters in Adlershof at the beginning of February, is going forward with building up its sister start-up FemtoFiberTec, and will take over a Berlin-based CNC company in April. All this hardly leaves any time to celebrate the 25th company anniversary. Step by step, Olaf Raitza has turned his start-up Loptek into a medium-sized company. Twenty-five years after he started in 1992, he is standing in front of the brand-new office and manufacturing building in Ernst-Lau-Straße in Adlershof. An elegant building with a glass-fronted top floor and an adjacent modern manufacturing building. Raitza and his team moved there just a few days ago. His new kingdom. Right on time for the company’s birthday. The decision to move the new headquarters to Adlershof was logical for the Loptek manager. “For years now, we have been working together with several partners who also work in optical technologies on the site,” he says. His company, that is to say, both his companies will contribute to the local photonics cluster. Some parts of the sister company Femto-FiberTec have already moved into the new building. The start-up is the world’s first commercial provider of so-called fiber Bragg gratings, which are inscribed into optical fibers using ultrashort pulse laser. Thus modified, the fibers are transformed into FBG sensors, which are in high demand for withstanding even the harshest conditions. They defy radioactivity, humidity and temperatures of up to 1000 degrees Celsius. FBG sensors measure temperature, strain pressure, and vibration. They can be combined to arrays of FBG that are only very few millimatres apart, which enables users from oilrigs and pipelines to make precise measurements across very long distances. Other areas of application include fire safety, wind turbines, engines, battery management, and medical technology. “By founding FemtoFiberTec and developing the FBG faser technology, we are expanding our activities in industrial-scale sensor technology,” says Raitza. There is another field that will contribute to continuously high growth in the years to come: mechanical services. “Adding to our existing capacities in high-precision turning technology, we will take over business, staff and machines from a Berlin-based company specialised on CNC lathing technology,” he tells us. The company’s specialisation on application in medical technology and optics is a perfect match for Loptek. The mother company Loptek develops and provides systems based on self-produced optical fibres, probes, and cross-section converters as well as temperature and strain sensors, which are based on the FBG sensor technology of FemtoFiberTec. The company’s key to success is its high depth of manufacturing. Loptek manufactures optical fibres based on glass, quartz, and plastic for many different wavelength regions and integrates them into probe and sensor systems produced in its very own precision mechanics department. The manufacturing stages will move even closer together once the new staff as well as extensive machinery moves into the new headquarters in Spring. “We want to continue to grow in the next 25 years by convincing our customers with sophisticated and innovative solutions and highest manufacturing quality,” says Raitza. There is enough space – the new building has been generously planned. Moreover, the premises in Adlershof provides ample space for expansion. By Peter Trechow for Adlershof Journal