Schäfter+ Kirchhoff, a leading optical component manufacturer

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keywords: Schäfter+ Kirchhoff coupler fiber optics


Schäfter+ Kirchhoff Germany


Hello. Thank you for doing this interview with, please try to answer these questions.

1. First of all, please introduce your company to our readers.

A: Schäfter+Kirchhoff is based in Hamburg, Germany, from where we manufacture high quality optical products that are delivered to customers all around the world.

The company was founded over 60 years ago, beginning with classical lens design and customized optical solutions. The focus has shifted gradually towards the current three product lines: polarization-maintaining fiber optics, laser lines and line scan cameras.

A special focus is set on the winning combination of high optical and mechanical precision, which is the basis for the high quality, stability and durability of our products. We are committed to providing the highest quality and reliability possible, a goal continuously improved by our quality control system.

Our extensive know-how and our highly qualified and strongly committed employees are the driving force behind the company. To have sales, research and development, as well as manufacturing so closely knit together, ensures a quick and efficient response to customer needs.

2. What product series do you have at the moment ? which ones are related to laser ?
A: We have line scan cameras, laser sources for machine vision (laser lines and spots), and polarization maintaining fiber optic components. We use laser diodes with the laser lines and spots. The fiber optic components are used together with a large variety of laser types.

3. Now I want to talk about the beam coupler and combiner, they are important components. What’s the advantage of yours?
A: Most important features of our coupler and combiner setups are their compact design, high efficiency, and long-term stability. These systems are shipped overseas pre-aligned, and they have proven themselves in demanding environments like in zero-G experiments (parabolic flights).

4. S+K provide a series of fiber optics components, are they all service fiber laser systems? Is it for industrial or scientific application?
A: We have both, industrial and scientific applications. There are high-tech companies using our fiber optic components in their advanced products. And we are proud to say that a large percentage of the worldwide leading quantum-optic research institutes are working with our products.

5. We find another laser product of your company is laser module. So what could it do and use in our ordinary life?
A: These modules are provided as OEM products. In ordinary life, you do not see them, but they are used in many measurement devices, e.g., to measure the height profile of an object, or to detect and count particles, just to name a few examples.

6. Laser diode is a key part of lasers. You provide collimator, why is collimator so important? And your advantage is?
A: Laser diodes emit highly divergent beams. To shape a beam, whether to couple it to an optical fiber, or to generate a laser line, you first have to collimate it.
Again, our advantages are high quality, high precision and reliability. With Schäfter+Kirchhoff you always get the combination of precise mechanics with high-end optics.

7. What kind of companies or industry will be your customer? (University? institute? Lasers manufacturer? Integrator? )
A: With our large variety of products we also have a large variety of customers. Integrators are using our line scan cameras and lasers for machine vision. Universities, research institutes and laser manufacturers are using our fiber optic components. Laser manufacturers, e.g. who want to couple their laser to a polarization maintaining fiber are using our couplers. There is also a very useful instrument, our Polarization Analyzer, which is used for fiber coupling both by laser manufacturers and in research institutes.

8. Please shortly talk about your strategy of technology development and market expectation in following year.

A: We constantly strive for the optimum quality and performance in all our developments. The constant improvement of existing products as well as demand-driven new developments are both important for us.

We see an increasing demand, especially but not only in fiber optics. Especially sales to the Asian market grow over proptionally.