Jenoptik breaks ground on €70m micro-optics fab in Dresden

Jenoptik breaks ground on €70m micro-optics fab in Dresden

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Jenoptik has broken ground on a new fab in Dresden, Germany, to consolidate several smaller production sites.

“Dresden will become a main location for our micro-optics activities. We made a conscious decision to go to one of the most important locations for the semiconductor industry in Germany and Europe, where many global companies and research institutes in the industry are based,” said Stefan Traeger, CEO of Jenoptik (above).

The company is spending over €70m on the 11,000 square meter plant including 2,000 square meters for clean room production, and plans to start production in early 2025. “The high-tech factory in Dresden is the largest single investment in recent Jenoptik history,” said Chief financial officer Hans-Dieter Schumacher.

The plant, announced last year, will produce micro-optics and sensors for semiconductor lithography in the ISO class 5 and class 3 clean rooms. Comprehensive vibration monitoring is also in place during the construction of the fab so as not to disturb the production processes of the neighbouring companies in the business park.

Jenoptik has been active at the Dresden location since 2007 and currently has more than 60 employees spread over several smaller external locations. The photonics group is creating 60 additional high-quality jobs and increasing the number of employees on site to a total of more than 120 employees to meet the increasing demand for optical components for semiconductor equipment through its recent acquisitions of Berliner Glas and SwissOptic. A fire at ASML’s optics factory in Berlin earlier this year highlighted the key role of the components.

The Jenoptik micro-optical sensors enable the exact positioning of the wafers during the lithographic processes for chip production and are used in both DUV and EUV lithography. These direct light using micro- and nanostructures and are manufactured using a lithography process similar to semiconductor production. In addition to chip production, they are used in other, primarily technological, manufacturing processes in which highly precise and/or very flexible positioning of light for process steps, for example in laser material processing, or quality assurance, for example in inspection processes.

In addition to Dresden, Jenoptik also manufactures its micro-optics at the Thuringian sites in Jena and Triptis (polymer optics), in Heerbrugg, Switzerland, and in Jupiter (Florida) and Huntsville (Alabama), USA. In the Advanced Photonic Solutions division, around 2,300 employees work on photonic technologies for the success of future industries.

Optics and sensors for the semiconductor equipment industry and other sectors such as medical technology and life sciences or IT infrastructure and communication are key growth drivers for Jenoptik. As a photonics group, Jenoptik is concentrating on the expansion of these business areas, from which around 75 percent of the targeted EUR 1.2 billion in sales should come in 2025.

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