First Sensor AG: 'Machines Are Becoming Autonomous Much Sooner Than Cars'
"Machines Are Becoming Autonomous Much Sooner Than Cars" Berlin-based company First Sensor is a market leader in avalanche photo diodes. Used in LiDAR scanners, they are enabling autonomous robots to take on more and more tasks in industrial production.
Deutsche Messe has announced over 500 specific examples of Industry 4.0 for the Hannover Messe trade fair, which starts today. At the world's most important industrial trade fair, manufacturers will be presenting solutions for predictive maintenance or cloud applications for greater efficiency and quality, among other things. For sensor experts, the focus is on a topic that, up to now, has been almost exclusively associated with the automotive industry. "Everybody always talks about autonomous vehicles but autonomous systems are also a big trend in the industry. Machines are becoming autonomous much sooner than cars. One reason for this is that there is still a lot of legal issues to be clarified in terms of road traffic, which are not relevant in the industry," says Dr. Dirk Rothweiler, CEO of Belin-based First Sensor AG. The company is a market leader in avalanche photo diodes, thanks to which the LiDAR light radar can also be used successfully in mobile robotic and logistics systems. Its customer base includes the American company Velodyne LiDAR Inc., to which it supplies sensors.
"In combination with radar and camera systems, LiDAR helps autonomous robots collaborate with people in the production environment or enables them to take on complex tasks, such as loading pallets, as transport and logistics systems. Our avalanche photo diodes are an essential element. They detect invisible flashes of light, using which the LiDAR scanner scans its surroundings and creates a 360? overview," explains Rothweiler. "We are currently experiencing a growing demand for our diodes and we are working on opening up other application areas in the industrial environment with our technology." Experts expect autonomous robots to dominate the smart systems market by 2024. Their market share is set to grow from $1.3 billion in 2014 to $13.9 billion.
Last year, First Sensor generated almost half of its turnover in the industrial target market, where it made EUR72.5 million. Currently, EUR18.5 million - or 25.5% of the turnover for the industrial market - comes from the area of industrial length measurement with applications such as LiDAR technology. For many industrial applications, this is a technical standard, as Rothweiler explains: "Our customers in the field of industrial length measurement have relied on LiDAR for many years, for example in speed measurements or for monitoring machine safety areas. Applications in autonomous systems is a growing field. These are easier to implement in the industrial environment as the surroundings and influencing factors can be controlled."
About First Sensor AG First Sensor AG is one of the world's leading suppliers in the field of sensor systems. Our company develops and manufactures standardized and customized sensor solutions for applications in the Industrial, Medical and Mobility growth markets. With over 850 employees, we are represented at six German locations and also have development, production and sales sites in the USA, Canada, Singapore, China, the Netherlands, Great Britain, France, Sweden and Denmark along with a worldwide partner network. First Sensor AG is a German public limited company and has been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (SIS) since 1999 [Prime Standard ? WKN: 720190 ? ISIN: DE0007201907 ? SIS]. For more details on First Sensor, please visit www.first-sensor.com.
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