Jenoptik secures long-term contract in the automotive industry
Jenoptik has been chosen to supply a laser-optical subsystem for the PM2.5 particle sensor, developed by HELLA. This particle sensor will now make it possible to reliably and precisely measure minute concentrations of particulate matter inside vehicles and in their immediate environment. The sensor’s high measuring accuracy was achieved thanks to Jenoptik's custom precision polymer optics and the high-accuracy 5-axis adjustment of the optoelectronic system. With this innovation, the Jenoptik group is consolidating its position as one of the leading photonics specialists in various markets, including the automotive industry.
The project contract, concluded between photonics specialist and technology group Jenoptik and international automotive supplier HELLA, stipulates that series production will begin in 2020. The contract is expected to run for a total of nine years. The first customer for the sensors is a European premium manufacturer that primarily intends to integrate the sensor into its Asian vehicle fleet. Going forward, the vehicles will each be equipped with two PM2.5 particle sensors. The PM2.5 class sensors can measure particle sizes below 2.5 micrometers in diameter.
One sensor monitors and optimizes air quality inside the vehicle by automatically controlling the air supply and through the efficient use of air filters. The second sensor measures the fine dust concentration in vehicle’s immediate environment. It can be used for air quality information purposes and to automatically control air circulation. In the future, it will also be possible to use the PM2.5 particle sensor to implement other digitized applications, such as route planning that takes local air quality into account.
Measuring accuracy is the decisive factor
At the heart of the particle sensors is a laser diode and polymer optics developed and manufactured by Jenoptik, which combine to form a full laser optic system using high-precision five-axis adjustment. Only this way is it possible to guarantee the high measuring accuracy of the particle sensor, which detects particles down to a lower limit of even 0.3 micrometers in diameter. The high measuring accuracy is significant because fine dust particles of this size penetrate deep into the lungs, where they accumulate and cause a risk to health.
“Implementing this high measuring accuracy across the measuring and temperature range required is a real challenge,” explains Marco Döbrich, head of the Sensors business field and Technical Center at HELLA’s site in Bremen, Germany, where the sensor was developed. “In Jenoptik, we have found an experienced partner whose core competencies include developing, manufacturing and assembling precision optical systems. They are also masters in the field of automated series production, providing automotive quality with reliability and flexibility.“
Jenoptik and HELLA intend to build on their partnership, with a view to attracting further customers in the automotive industry, as well as for applications in other industries, with their innovative technologies and products.
Jenoptik is a globally operating technology group and is active in the photonics-related divisions of Light & Optics, Light & Production and Light & Safety as well as providing mechatronics solutions with VINCORION. Optical technologies are the very basis of our business with the majority of our products and services being provided to the photonics market. Our key target markets primarily include the semiconductor equipment industry, the medical technology, automotive and mechanical engineering, traffic, aviation as well as the security and defense technology industries. Jenoptik has about 4,000 employees worldwide.
The Light & Optics division is a global OEM supplier of solutions and products based on photonics technologies. Jenoptik provides a broad portfolio of technologies combined with deep experience of more than 25 years in the fields of optics, laser technology, digital imaging, opto-electronics and software. Our customers are leading machine and equipment suppliers working in areas such as semiconductor equipment, laser material processing, healthcare & life science, industrial automation, automotive & mobility and safety, as well as in scientific institutes. As a development and production partner, the Light & Optics division focuses on advancing cutting-edge technologies to improve our customers' system performance and ultimately realize product outcomes that reach new heights enabled by our highly-integrated photonic solutions. The systems, modules and components based on photonics technologies help our customers overcome their future challenges.