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Schunk Group acquires ‘majority stake’ in Pulsar Photonics

25 Jun 2021

Fraunhofer ILT spin-off Pulsar is involved in micromachining based on ultra-short-pulse laser technology.

With its investment in Pulsar Photonics (Pulsar), the Schunk Group is entering the field of laser technology and focusing on growth opportunities in this area. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The technology company is acquiring a majority stake in Pulsar, which was founded in 2013. The company is a spin-off from the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology and is based in Herzogenrath near Aachen, Germany, where around 40 employees work. Pulsar is involved in laser micromachining, particularly ultrashort-pulse laser technology.

“For Schunk, ultrashort pulse laser technology is a technology extension with which we are further deepening our expertise in optics and photonics,” commented Dr. Arno Roth, CEO of the Schunk Group. “As a highly innovative company, Pulsar Photonics is therefore a perfect fit for our innovation initiative Success by Innovation.”

Expansion of optics and photonics

“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,” said Peter Manolopoulos, of the Board of the Schunk Group and responsible for its business unit OptoTech.

In addition, ultra-short pulse lasers could also be used to process Schunk’s high-tech materials, such as technical ceramics or graphite, in novel 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 Pulsar’s three founding managing directors. “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.”

Pulsar develops 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.

Contract manufacturing

In addition to system development, Pulsar also produces single part and series production with short pulse lasers. “If a customer needs precise laser manufacturing in the micrometer range for an application, then Pulsar Photonics is the place to go,” said Dr. Holtkamp.

“If they want to, customers can conveniently outsource the entire laser processing to our job shop,” added Holtkamp. The key processes are structuring, drilling and precision cutting.

Laser processing with an ultrashort pulse laser allows microstructuring of surfaces with very high precision. Equally high precision is made possible by microdrilling with laser radiation, contact-free and force-free for all materials. The ultrashort pulse laser allows flat materials to be cut precisely and with high edge quality.

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