Articles

After 30 years

After 30 years, the brainchild of Göran Pettersson and Lars Lindholm has grown into an established player on the optoelectronic market. Born of necessity at Chalmers University in 1976 (and creating a whole new avenue of technical applications), SiTek has managed to survive some hard times and evolve into a strong and profitable company both nationally and internationally.

It’s pretty much the dream of every graduate or undergraduate at a technical university – to open the door to a whole new way of thinking.
Creating a new market. Be a true pioneer. Big words, but far from exaggerations. The modern PSDtechnology (Position Sensing Detector)
is estimated to employ upwards of 5000 people worldwide, and generate a global turnover of somewhere between 4 and 5 billion SEK. The King of Sweden, Karl XVI Gustaf, congratulates the founders.

Early days
When SiTek was formed on October 4th in 1976, PSD in itself was not a novelty. But reliable data from the devices, was. The founding concept behind SiTek was a modification to existing technology that allowed an 80% margin of error dwindle to 0.1%. With such an impressive debut, it is hardly surprising that the first couple of years were very prosperous. New PSD applications were continuously developed (among them the so-called
triangulation or Optocatorsystem), and high-profile clients were racing
each other trying to get on board. It didn’t take long before SiTek outgrew
the space allocated to them at the University. Bought outright by After 30 years Ranginvest, the company relocated to a brand new custom-build facility with a modern clean room and a world of opportunities.

Challenges overcome
The real challenge came in the mid- 80s, when the recession (coupled with the fact that the market was not ready) made SiTek have to fight the good fight. And they were victorious. Sold to the present owners (japanese Autex Inc) in 1989, it took only a few years more to turn things around and from 1993, it was full speed ahead. SiTek went from lab work to being an internationally accomplished company with distributors and agents all over the world. Before the century had turned to a new, the personnel and turnover were both quadrupled, and the manufacturing potential was increased by a factor of 8. Naturally, such things does not pass unnoticed and in 1999 SiTek was awarded The Company of the Year by Swedoptronics. In-house PSD manufacturing at SiTek. SPC-PSD with integrated electronics.

The road ahead
The award is not the only sign that SiTek is doing very well nowadays. For instance, they have received the highest possible credit rating by
Dun & Bradstreet annually since the year 2000, patented an array of innovative technologies and released a number of new standard products,
for example the worlds largest standard PSD (2L45). The client roster boasts companies, both large and small, all over the world in industrial
fields as diverse as medical, process, space and electronics. The applications range from the nanometer scale in Atomic Force Microscopes
up to the hundred meter scale when measurements on bridges and buildings are done.

At SiTek today, spirits are high as the company celebrates its 30th anniversary. “The most important asset is our dedicated personnel, with their great knowledge and enthusiasm”, says Conny Nordin, Managing Director. “They have been and will be the key factor to our success and we are really looking forward to the next 30 years with confidence and pride”.

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