We are ficonTEC, and we are very well established in the photonic device – so optical, micro-optical and optoelectronics – assembly and test machine market with high-precision alignment, bonding and testing systems. We also offer automated chip inspection systems as well as a laser welder for corresponding optoelectronic device assembly tasks.
We have come across very few specific micro-assembly shows, but sensor devices need exactly this too, so, as you can imagine, SENSOR+TEST 2018 provides us with a good opportunity to meet our target groups. This is why we came here, to basically offer our products and our testing equipment to the community. We see ourselves here as a machine builder, offering machines for assembling complex and high-precision optoelectronic components and – of course – photonics-based sensors.
Are there any products that you are highlighting today?
We are highlighting our AL1000 assembly machine. It fully-automatically assembles micro-optical components from trays, from magazines to magazines. It is also high precision, meaning alignment down in the few micron, or even sub-micron range. This one is a base configuration, but we offer a whole bunch of optional modules more or less ‘off-the-shelf’ so that it is actually a very versatile and customizable platform. And that’s ignoring the specials we usually end up building to solve particular customer demands.
What makes your products unique in the marketplace?
We face little competition, because our products are both highly precise and, well, as I just mentioned, highly customizable due to a modular approach.
Firstly we are talking about machines that can align products precisely to one micron – one micrometer – and even below when using certain tools. We can even be more precise than that. This puts us in a unique situation.
Secondly, the other unique point we have is not the product itself, but the understanding of the application. This understanding is key, as the customer oftens comes to us with an as yet undefined high-precision assembly task, for which they need a solution. So we dive deeply into the customer's application, task, and product, adapt the required process steps and our capabilities to each other, and this in turn provides a unique offering. This is a learning process for us too, so we only charge for the machines!
Which industries do your products serve?
ficonTEC comes from the abbreviation for Fiber Connecting Technologies – fiber here means optical fiber. We come originally from the telecommunication sector – fiber connectors, pigtailing, optical transceivers and receivers for both internet and data center fiber communications – these have long been our main market, with fiber optics, micro-optics, and microelectronics, or optoelectronics assembly and test machines. But we have seen interest steadily climb for some time now from more general photonic, automotive, biomedical and consumer sectors, both in terms of laser devices, optical sensors, and even the two together – LIDAR, for example.
We now have over 600 systems installed globally across all of these sectors, so we are already drawing on a broad base of experience. But we are still learning, and still looking for new challenges – which is why we come here, for example, to further diversify beyond photonics.