Opportunities in optics manufacturing

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Optical components and subsystems are key elements in diverse systems and markets….

Optical components, such as lenses and mirrors, are the basic components integrated into various systems such as scanners, measurement instruments, imaging and laser equipment. Some of the major users of optical components can be found in industries such as production technology, machine vision, medical technology and life science, defence and security, and displays. The demand for optical systems in these industries has driven the global market for optical components. In 2015, the global market for components reached €12 billion.

Both the demand for optical components and the product requirements are increasing….

The market is expected to continue its growth driven by trends such as raising demand for telecommunication capacity and “smart” applications, as well as the need to respond to societal challenges such as climate change and aging population.

With the increase in applications, however, optical manufacturers need to meet increasingly strict requirements. For example, the increase in medical problems due to aging population pushes the market for miniaturized medical instruments. At the same time, smart phones, the Internet of Things and portable/wearable devices drive the use of ever smaller cameras and sensors. As a result, the optics industry is continuously looking for ways to miniaturize the optical systems and decrease the production costs. This leads to developments in the optical materials (inc. coatings), shapes (e.g. free forms), production process (3D printing, injection moulding, new machinery, etc.) and metrology systems.

This provides opportunities for Dutch players….

Dutch players can address these challenges and tap into this multi-billion market. At present, Dutch activities in manufacturing of optical components are limited. Optical manufacturing in Europe has concentrated to fewer players and the mass-production of standard optical components is shifting to locations with cheaper labor force. Still, the Netherlands holds a strong position in the growing optical systems market. The Dutch players are mainly active in the design and integration of optical (sub-) systems as well as prototyping of moulds and optical components.

Building on existing strengths in metrology and high-tech, Dutch players have the opportunity to respond to the market demand for more precise measurement technology and for alternative (mass)production techniques. Established players can explore opportunities by offering facilities for the first stage of the system development. Leveraging on a vibrant ecosystem along the production chain, Dutch players can benefit by increasing the collaboration in the production chain. This can optimize the fabrication process and support to the application of new technologies such as image processing.

Do you want to know more about optics manufacturing and future opportunities?

Download the ‘Market study in optics manufacturing’ to find out more about:

  • An estimation of the size and growth of the market
  • An explanation of market segments
  • An estimation of the size and growth of market for components
  • An overview of market trends in optics manufacturing and its impact on technological challenges
  • An overview of players and their activities (the Netherlands and global)
  • An identification of the market opportunities for Dutch players
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