In 2013, we started thinking about building a new facility for Technobis Group. At that time we were a company of 27 people and thought it would be a good idea to build a new facility that could accommodate 50 staff in offices, labs and an assembly area.
The new building was inaugurated by our Minister of Commerce, Henk Kamp, and we moved in on 1 May 2014.
Now, only two and a half years later, we have already outgrown our new premises. Was it bad planning, just luck, or coincidence?
None of the above, actually, as we started developing optical instruments based on optical chips (ASPICs, Application Specific Photonic ICs) some five years ago. This was completely new technology, mainly being tested in universities by PhD students and focusing on telecom/Datacom.
Technobis was one of the first companies to take up this technology for application in Fibre Optic Sensing, with ASML giving us the task to develop a chip with a wavelength measurement resolution of 100 attometres. We succeeded in this and also produced many additional optical chips to cover the resolution range from 10 attometres to 5 picometres, making it possible to build an ASPIC-based sensing system for many possible applications. In this process, we reduced weight, power consumption and price, while simultaneously improving stability, resolution and sensor count.
It took a little more time to transform the prototypes into commercial industrial systems, but last year we introduced the Gator ASPIC-based systems into the market. Large aerospace and space companies, medical companies, as well as high-tech, mobility and energy companies, all took notice, resulting in many new projects and the ramping up of production of Gator devices. As we needed more employees to execute this work, we have since been hiring two new people a week on average and have already passed the 50 mark. The plans for the extension of the building are complete, and I will shortly be inviting the Minister of Commerce, once again, to open this new wing in 2017.