Chromasens GmbH joined the Lakesight Group in May 2017. The trade magazine INSPECT spoke to Chromasens’ CEO Markus Schnitzlein about the reasons for this decision and what synergy effects could be expected within the Lakesight Group. Read excerpts from the interview.
Mr Schnitzlein, you founded Chromasens together with your partner Martin Hund in 2004 as a specialist for line scan cameras and have since then developed it successfully. What were the motives behind joining the Lakesight Group after this successful period?
Markus Schnitzlein: With the other Lakesight members Mikrotron and Tattile we can complement each other perfectly in our sales and distribution efforts. We do not have overlapping products, but profit fully from the synergy effects between the companies. The technological foundations that we have laid in the field of 3D measurement technology and color measurement technology can now also be applied to the field of high-resolution, high-speed surface cameras as offered by Mikrotron. Tattile covers the field of vision controllers and embedded smart cameras very successfully. With line scan cameras, the trend is also towards more intelligence in the camera. Virtually no overlap in the product line and with a comparable technological basis - this alone makes these companies the ideal match for Chromasens. Add to this the current geographic orientation: Mikrotron is very well positioned in the US, while Chromasens has a strong appearance in Asia.
What concrete synergy effects does Chromasens expect from Lakesight, in particular from the cooperation with Tattile and Mikrotron?
Markus Schnitzlein: As already mentioned, we all benefit from geographic networking. Where one Lakesight company is well established, it promotes the products of the others. Because the strengths of the three companies are currently distributed differently, this unlocks enormous synergy potential. In addition, through Tattile and Mikrotron, we gain access to areas where line scan cameras are very well suited, but we - as Chromasens - have so far had no easy market access. And thirdly, our spectral and 3D measurement methods, as well as our expertise in the field of lighting, can be transferred equally to areal sensors. This will benefit our colleagues at Mikrotron and Tattile. Conversely, the topic of integrating more image processing capabilities into the camera is also a very important point for line scan cameras. This is where the smart camera competence of Tattile comes in, which helps us to integrate more image processing capabilities into our line scan cameras.
Does this mean that the R & D areas of the three companies are merged?
Markus Schnitzlein: They will not be merged. It is the declared aim of the Lakesight Group that the individual companies remain independent. The individual brands will continue to be independent. But we are already working together very intensively. Especially the R & D areas will be even more closely interlinked in the future. Of course, we will also address further synergy effects - such as joint purchasing.
If the individual corporate brands remain, then what about Lakesight? Does the holding remain in the background?
Markus Schnitzlein: The goal is actually to make Lakesight more known as an umbrella brand of the holding, without of course neglecting the individual corporate brands. From Lakesight there will be no own products for the foreseeable future.
Together with your Co-Managing Director Martin Hund, you are now sitting in the "Board" of Lakesight: What is the medium to long-term strategy behind the Lakesight project?
Markus Schnitzlein: Lakesight is a buy-and-built group. The clear goal is to form a group of companies, which complement each other synergistically and in a sales range of 70-100 million euros, in order to be perceived in the market as a strong player. Further potential acquisitions must be in the same strategic line as before and accordingly offer strategic advantages. Finding such potential candidates is not easy.
What other new products can be expected from Chromasens in the short term?
Markus Schnitzlein: Let me highlight two topics. On the one hand, our brand new CMOS allPIXA wave line scan camera with 15,000 pixels and four lines has been in mass production since September and will be available in larger quantities by the end of the year. Chromasens is thus entering the CMOS world for the first time beyond CCD technology. With the new camera, we can significantly increase the line lengths. The sensors enable an exceptionally high data rate, which we will exploit in the future with the CoaXPress and Dual 10 GigE interfaces. In addition, in the coming years, Chromasens will invest significantly in basic research to advance sensory issues and take spectral and 3D measurement to a new level.
Chromasens thanks INSPECT for the publication of the interview – http://www.inspect-online.de