Meerstetter Engineering is a Swiss engineering company specialized in electronics for laser diodes and Peltier elements. The company’s products are used in pharmaceutical and mechanics industries as well as in research laboratories. With Meerstetter Engineering’s excellent know how, they offer development services and collaboration in analogue and digital electronics, FPGA, embedded systems and digital interfaces.
Interview with Martin Ritterath, CEO of Meerstetter Engineering.
Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?
Martin Ritterath: Meerstetter focusses on precision temperature controllers and laser diode drivers for system integration. We develop, support and distribute these functional units and therefore help our customers to reduce time-to-market and development cost. A huge portion of our service is to help our customers by a direct contact to our experts.
Meerstetter products are used in many peaceful sectors (we deny the collaboration with creators of weapons for ethical reasons and conviction), such as:
Life science experiments carried out at ISS in space
Temperature control in micro reactors for personalized medicine
PCR testers for detection of COVID DNA
Precision optics machines for the calibration of the camera of your smartphone
Laser tools for welding and cutting
Medical and Biotechnology in general
Precision machines for creation of microstructures on waver (chip fab) and many more.
E.E: What’s the news about new products?
M.R: Meerstetter launches several new digitally controlled laser diode drivers with up to 70 V @ 70 A (LDD-1137) or 120 V @ 20 A (LDD-1303).
All devices are newly developed with many years of experience from previous LDD generations and the latest technologies on the market (GaN-FET).
E.E: What are the ranges of products?
M.R: Our products are divided into three main categories:
TEC controllers, these are precision temperature controllers for use with Peltier elements that are integrated into the customer’s system, let’s say a micro reactor in bio technology.
Laser diode drivers, these are adjustable precision current source to safely operate a laser diode for continuous or pulsed operation.
Common to all is a huge portion of digital electronics and embedded software for the control loops and the digital interfaces. Together with sophisticated power electronics, our products achieve high efficiencies. The multitude of digital interfaces of the controllers allow the customer’s superior system not only to give commands on set points and ask for status of the controller and its attached load, but also to integrate sensors, control the fan for the heat sink and much more. Last but not least, our products can be conveniently controlled and fine-tuned down to the smallest detail using our in-house designed software.
E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?
M.R: Well, Meerstetter is a small part in the global supply chain. As we can see from our valued customers, there is the sector of laser tools, which is slightly growing but otherwise well established. The other sectors, such as life science, biotechnology and medical equipment are strongly expanding. We also observe in general a reduction of delay between prototyping and series production, for which we congratulate our customers.
E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?
M.R: Generally spoken, the market requires high availability, high quality and many certificates for quality insurance/compliance with regulation on the one hand and on the other hand agile and friendly collaboration.
E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?
M.R: The TEC-1161 is a functionally versatile and compact dual channel TEC controller and was released in 2020.
In 2021, Meerstetter presented:
LDD-1137 (buck converter laser diode driver, up to 70 V and 75 A output);
LDD-1303 (buck-boost laser diode driver, up to 120 V and 20 A output).
The latter enables our customers to drive their diodes above the input supply voltage, i.e. to use a standard 48 V supply to drive diodes at 120 V.
E E: What estimations do you have for 2022?
M.R: Forecasts are difficult, especially when they concern the future. Recent experiences show that the forecasted scenarios happen much faster and earlier than expected. For 2022, the global business activities will be limited by the availability of raw materials and electronic components. Therefore, preferably long-term orders and businesses will be successful while in contrary it will be difficult for emerging and new businesses without a long (> 1 year) planning period in the supply chain.
Meerstetter will continue its steady path of a healthy growth and further increase customer value.
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