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.
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.
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
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,
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”.