SCHOTT solutions no. 1/2009 > Lighting and Imaging

Digital imaging solutions from MORITEX are used for cosmetic and medical applications. The “Facial Stage”, an advanced 5 megapixel digital camera with specialized lighting, helps to detect subdermal problems.

Global Alliance

SCHOTT and MORITEX Corporation from Tokyo are both pursuing the goal of further extending their position as the global leader in imaging and lighting solutions.

Andreas Uthmann

For over 40 years, SCHOTT has been active in the area of light and image transmission. In the meantime, the fiber optics business has grown to become a broad range of lighting and imaging transmission solutions for various applications. The acquisition of a majority share in the Japanese company ­MORITEX by SCHOTT at the end of 2008 contributed significantly towards this development. To express its extended business scope in its name, as well, SCHOTT Fiber Optics was renamed SCHOTT Lighting and Imaging this April.

SCHOTT Lighting and Imaging combines all relevant lighting technologies under one roof. This allows for lighting systems that combine fiber optic technologies with LED elements, for example. The imaging portfolio includes imaging conductors, lenses, objectives and cameras. In addition, the components offered by MORITEX allow for intelligent system control and measurement solutions. This broad technological basis provides the flexibility needed in order to meet every lighting and imaging demand.

SCHOTT is one of only three German companies to ever succeed in completing a friendly acquisition of a Japanese firm. “SCHOTT and MORITEX were made for each other,” notes Dr. Ottmar Ernst, Executive Vice President of SCHOTT Lighting and Imaging. Even before the merger, it could be seen that not only the technology platforms harmonize very well. Both companies – SCHOTT with its strong presence in Europe and the U.S., and MORITEX in Asia – are now able to offer their customers a much broader range of products and services. “This joining of forces is a ’win-win’ situation for both parties. We plan to extend our position as one of the world’s leading supplier of imaging and lighting solutions,” says Dr. Juergen Dahmer, member of the SCHOTT Board of Management.

LED technology and machine vision systems from Japan

LED illumination systems offer solutions for various fields of industrial inspection. The “MG-Wave Series” is a next generation system family that features unique constant current sensing control, high luminous efficiency and reduced heat generation. Photo: MORITEX
Striving for perfection and the highest possible quality has a long tradition in Japan. In this respect, MORITEX has been earning a name for itself as a supplier of systems for visual control of manufacturing since 1973. Today, the company is the market leader in Asia in the area of LED-based and fiber optic lighting systems, as well as optical imaging systems for industrial image processing – so-called machine vision systems. The company is based in Tokyo, where MORITEX has also been listed on the 1st section of the Tokyo stock exchange since 2000. The company has approximately 450 employees in Japan, Singapore and China. MORITEX is also present in Europe and the u.s. through sales organizations.

More and more products are being industrially manufactured. In order to be able to maintain an overview, “machine vision systems” are needed to monitor and control production processes. With light systems and cameras, a broad product line is available that is both flexible and can be completely tailored to the needs of customers. The range of possible applications includes inspection systems for manufacturing computer chips or flat screen monitors, as well as pharmaceutical manufacturing processes or applications in the food industry.
Integrated systems that feature optimized lens and lighting solutions ensure high quality standards in various areas of manufacturing, e. g. in the inpection of tft modules or solar panels. Photo: MORITEX
The field of “Digital Imaging” addresses medical, cosmetic and industrial applications. Video microscopes with integrated CCD cameras, for example, enable detailed analysis of the skin. Results on skin moisture and other parameters are available on an integrated LCD monitor or can be digitally transported to other systems within seconds. On the one hand, the area called “Optical Components and Equipment” focuses on optical inspection and measurement systems for LCD panel systems, Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS), three-dimensional shape inspection or IR transmitting inspection systems. On the other hand, optical modules, lenses and other optical components offer solutions for telecommunications services.

“When it comes to system integration, we really took a major leap forward with MORITEX,” Dr. Ernst concludes with reference to today’s portfolio. In addition to the basic SCHOTT product line, moritex products offer the chance to provide more advanced performance systems. In addition, thanks to the newly-acquired expertise in system design, it is now possible to react better and more quickly in a customer-specific manner. A novelty that SCHOTT customers have reacted positively to. “Together with SCHOTT, we are now able to talk about a much more advanced and comprehensive bundle of services,” says Jürgen Schumann, responsible for global sales of machine vision solutions. And customers from Asia benefit from the enhanced regional presence. Over the next 24 months, all of the relevant functions inside SCHOTT and moritex will be linked together. <|