With a 150-year history behind it, Carl Zeiss MicroImaging has an unrivalled reputation for high-quality optics and opto-electronics, and was in at the start of PV solar cell production. Key account manager Peter Lamparter explains the company’s expertise and how it stays ahead of its competitors.
PES: Welcome back to PES, for the benefit of new readers who might not be familiar with your company, can you give us a brief overview of how you serve the solar/PV industry?
Peter Lampter: Carl Zeiss AG is a leading group of companies operating worldwide in the optical and opto-electronic industries. The five independently operating business groups are active in the future-oriented markets of Medical and Research Solutions, Industrial Solutions and Lifestyle Products. Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company’s headquarters is in Oberkochen, Germany. Carl Zeiss AG is fully owned by the Carl Zeiss Stiftung (Carl Zeiss Foundation). During fiscal year 2008/09 (ended Sept. 30), the company generated revenues of EUR 2.1 billion. Carl Zeiss has approximately 13,000 employees in more than 30 countries, including more than 8,000 in Germany.
Carl Zeiss MicroImaging GmbH is a 100 per cent subsidiary of Carl Zeiss AG and is headquartered in Jena. Other manufacturing and development sites are located in Göttingen and Munich. During the fiscal year 2008/09, the Microscopy Group at Carl Zeiss generated revenues of approximately EUR 365 million with a global workforce of about 1,700.
The Optical Sensor Systems is part of the Industrial Division which, along with the BioScience Division, belongs to Carl Zeiss MicroImaging.
Our business group offers complete spectrometer systems which enable the non-contact, non-destructive measurement of spectral transmittance/reflectance and the determination of colour values, layer thickness and sheet resistance. These extremely precise and fast instrument systems are designed for in-line and at-line measurements of the type required to record and control the quality of coated glass.
PES: And how much of your business is dedicated to this sector. Is it growing?
PL: For almost 20 years our in-line measurement systems have been integrated in production lines for coated glass. On one hand this allowed Zeiss to adapt well-proven solutions to applications, for example in thin film solar cell production lines within a very short period of time. On the other hand our systems are also used across a broad range, starting from a very early stage of the value chain at the glass manufacturers to the final inspection of solar cell production. Thus we are involved from the growth of both the glass market and the PV market.