LITEK™ companies demonstrate the vigour
Although 2021 was a challenging year for many Lithuanian industries and the global economy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the members of the LITEK™ cluster have shown vigour in developing new products, investing in digitization and developing production capacity. These factors have contributed to the growth of the sector and maintaining its competitiveness in the international market, said K. Ananičienė, LITEK™ cluster manager.
Infrastructure development and digitization
UAB “EKSMA Optics” has completed the construction of a new research and development technology center for laser components and optical equipment. From now on, the production of optical and electro-optical laser components, laser optics and crystal coatings, research and assembly of systems and units will be carried out in one place – 7.3 thousand. sq.m. area of production and research center equipped with the most advanced engineering systems. The total investment in the factory building and new equipment amounts to 15 million euros. According to D. Kuzma, Director of Marketing and Business Development at EKSMA Optics, the need for the new factory building was determined by the rapid development of the company and the desire to concentrate production in one place, as the company has used several different premises in Vilnius for research and production. The new building for the development of the company should be enough until 2025, when the company’s sales volume is planned to reach 25 million euros.
The technological infrastructure is being expanded by another manufacturer and developer of optical components, UAB “Altechna“. Greta Vaitkevičiūtė, Altechna’s marketing manager, says that the company is currently in a growth and investment phase. The circle of customers and their needs are growing rapidly, so the complexity of projects and the scale of orders are increasing accordingly. An ambitious 6.6 million euros investment package was approved in 2021. Part of the investment will be directed to the acquisition of new premises, and the remaining part of the investment will be used for the acquisition of two new evaporation equipment for optical coatings and additional metrological and cleaning equipment for optical elements. These investments will lead to better element quality and parameters, better economies of scale, and more than double the company’s production capacity. New clean rooms for the assembly of optical units will also be installed. Such development will provide an opportunity to double the current income in the next 3-4 years.
Arginta Engineering, an engineering and metal processing plant of UAB “Arginta Group“, expands and acquired the nearly 20,000 sq meters Outotec Turula Oy plant in Outokumpu, Finland. The factory turnover exceeded 30 million euros in 2020. Arginta has been working with its former owner, the Finnish concern “Metso Outotec Group”, since 2003. “The investment will significantly increase Arginta Engineering’s production capacity and turnover, and offer customers a wider range of production services. We also plan to exchange competencies between Outotec Turula Oy and Arginta Engineering. These exchanges will allow our employees in Lithuania to gain new skills and experience from a Finnish company, ”- commented Tomas Jaskelevičius, CEO of Arginta Engineering, in a statement distributed by the company.
UAB “Sargasas” digitized production processes, taking into account the market growth potential and expanding the supply of innovative products and using the EU structural funds. In order to ensure greater competitiveness and productivity, the company has introduced new robotic systems that will speed up the production process and ensure fewer defects, as well as higher quality of work and products.
UAB “Esemda“, expanding the range of services and seeking greater efficiency, has acquired and started using a MOPA type laser device for engraving or colour marking of plastic and aluminium housings and printed circuit boards (barcodes, serial numbers, texts, logos). From now on, with this device, the company will be able to provide faster and more accurate integrated electronics production services and continue to move purposefully towards one of its most important goals – to be probably the most flexible electronics production partner. Also last year, UAB “Esemda” was awarded the Baltosios bangos brand, which unites reliable, transparent companies. One of the company’s goals is to strive for a transparent and responsible relationship with customers and partners in the provision of electronics manufacturing services.
Development of new products
UAB “LITILIT” 2021 was a very successful year. The flagship of the company’s products, the industrial femtosecond laser Indylit 10, was launched into the market in the middle of the year. It is a unique, next-generation laser platform with many applications in the electronics and semiconductor industries, medicine, ophthalmology and science. Distinctive features of this product are its extremely high resistance to the environment, passive cooling and adaptability to mass production. The price of this laser platform is one of the lowest on the market compared to products with similar parameters. At the end of the year, another LITILIT product, Neolit, was nominated for the prestigious Prism Awards. In the final, he was among the honourable nominees for the Industrial Lasers category. This is an important recognition in the global photonics community.
UAB “EKSPLA” together with its partners Medical laser equipment manufacturer UAB „PhotoSana“ and VMTI Center for Innovative Medicine have successfully implemented the project “Ultra-fast lasers for Therapy and Diagnostics” (ULA). Two products were developed during the project: a picosecond laser system for aesthetic medicine and a second harmonic wide-field microscope. The first system is a certified medical device for specific indications. The main innovation of the picosecond aesthetic medicine laser system being developed is the pulse duration, which is at least four times shorter than the picosecond laser systems on the market. This system is very useful for patients – they will have a more efficient, safer and faster procedure for removing unwanted derivatives, and will be able to return to public life much faster. The second product is a microscopy system that is being developed as a diagnostic device to detect and develop diagnostic methods for a variety of biological tissue pathologies. This microscope has the ability to excite and record two-photon fluorescence. This enables the separation of pathological areas without staining the samples, ensures faster evaluation of the samples and allows more tests to be performed in less time. According to UAB “EKSPLA” Chief Sales Manager Mantvydas Jašinskas, joint innovative projects not only create new products but also allow to update the existing product platform with the help of acquired new knowledge. “During the project, we managed to improve the spatial characteristics of the Femtolux 3 beam of our femtosecond laser and the long-term stability of the beam direction. Better laser specifications will ensure high quality and frequency in customer applications, ”- he says.
International value chains and networking
Public Institution “Science and Technology Park of Institute of Physics” (STPIP), the coordinator of LITEK™, together with partners from various European Union countries, participated in the international H2020 project “PhotonHub Europe: One-Stop-Shop Open Access to Photonics Innovation Support for a Digital Europe”. The aim of the project is to create one-stop-shop access to a network of centers of excellence and to create a sustainable ecosystem for research and innovation support for SMEs, accelerating the uptake and integration of photonics technologies into innovative products to increase European industrial competitiveness and foster new business models. The services will focus on the following sectors: health, biotechnology, manufacturing, agriculture, food, defence and security, space, digital, automotive, and energy. More information: www.photonhub.eu
At the end of 2021, the European Commission approved the BIGINN project, which aims to cluster clusters to exploit the potential of Big Science infrastructures for innovation and international cooperation with business. Not only various analyzes will be performed, but also business missions to the largest science centers – CERN, ESA, ELI, etc. – will be organized. The BIGINN project will be implemented by 3 European clusters from different countries: BigScience.dk (Denmark), INEUSTAR (Spain) and LITEK™ (Lithuania). The 24-month project, co-financed by the European Union under the COSME program, has a total budget of 496,261 euros. More information: www.biginn.eu