Blog

When innovation and experience combine

Published 10.7.2018

m-u-t AG is positioned as a one stop shop for non-destructive optical measurement, mostly based on spectroscopy. m-u-t AG is on its way to be the leading-edge photonics consortium in Europe and consists of six companies that are fully or partly owned by the m-u-t group; m-u-t GmbH, APOS, Avantes, tec5, LayTec and now, last but not least, Spectral Engines. m-u-t AG was founded in 1995 and it has been growing rapidly in the last 5 years, consistently showing good profitability levels.

 

m-u-t AG is the leading-edge photonics solution provider

m-u-t AG develops, manufactures, and sells products for spectroscopy, sensor technology, laboratory automation, and medical technology markets worldwide. With our affiliates m-u-t GmbH and APOS, we develop applications based on chemometric models and ingredient sensing and pair them with sophisticated automation technology. tec5 develops systems and sub-systems bringing the lab into the field with in-line measurements at high speed and in harsh environments. LayTec among others helps its customers in semiconductor production processes to measure the thickness of the layers in-situ. Avantes produces classical spectrometer benches for a very broad field of applications in science and industry.

The whole group has gathered a deep experience in spectroscopy in general while successfully serving the market for a long time. Over the last few years we have seen a certain degree of maturity in spectroscopy applications in general. It has become an increasingly used technology in many new applications and customers are well aware of its capabilities. This indicates that the technology has reached a maturity level and is finding a broader audience. But still, the main obstacle we have found is the relatively high price for the classical way to make spectrometer benches which block application fields from taking advantage of this technology. Only those applications in high demand for measurement accuracy are willing to invest in such high-priced products. We see an increasing number of applications which might not need fully blown spectrometers with “scientifically exact and elaborate” results. This opens the field for new technologies with dramatically lower production costs. This is where Spectral Engines and their MEMS technology steps into the m-u-t technology roadmap.

 

m-u-t AG’s unique selling proposition

We have been following the developments of MEMS-based spectrometers with a keen interest for many years. By now, it is not a rare and exotic occurrence anymore. Rather, it has arrived in the market and is gaining increasingly fast acceptance. We are certain that by combining MEMS-based spectrometers which can be produced in large numbers and at competitive price points with the very broad and long-term experience in spectrometer applications in the m-u-t group, we can open up new markets and applications that have not been reachable until today – even going down towards the prosumer and consumer level. In other words, this collaboration is a perfect fit to m-u-t AG’s growth strategy.

Obviously, we will continue to serve our established customers and markets. Those are to the greatest extend markets with only a limited overlap to the new markets MEMS technology can address. In many applications there are certain limitations and they need classical spectrometers. MEMS, or any other spectrometer technology, is not a “one size fits all” solution. You have to know what the pros and cons in each of these technologies are to recommend the best one to your customer. This is the leading principle of the m-u-t AG group: to strengthen the unique selling proposition at group level. We are able to check the application for our customer and suggest the best fitting technology out of our portfolio from the detector up to a solution. And what’s even more, we can combine expertise of our 350-person organization to offer complete solutions for our customers if they are looking for complete solutions and production capacity.

 

Strengthening m-u-t AG’s position in industry 4.0 and IoT market

Material sensing technology ready at your disposal will bring new insights. The number of sensors will increase substantially in the wake of Industry 4.0 and IoT. This will lead to a reduction of waste as faulty ingredients will be detected earlier. Sources of contamination will be identified early on. The identification of material will automate the right treatment – be it further production steps, cleaning methods or classification. There are so many areas that material sensing will influence in our every-day life and MEMS spectrometers will extend the application fields manifold. We are excited to create synergies between the companies by combining all expertise from different companies to create meaningful future solutions for industry 4.0 and IoT market.

We envision a world where material sensors are in every household helping consumers with their daily challenges. This will clearly take some time. However, as customers demand, OEMs will come up with novel ideas and applications. Spectral Engines and the m-u-t Group are ready to support you in finding the best solution for your application.

Maik Müller,

CEO, m-u-t AG

 

If you’d like to discuss how Spectral Engines and the m-u-t Group can support your company in creating meaningful future solutions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.