Polygon scanner supplier Next Scan Technology has been honoured with the EPIC Phoenix award, which recognises entrepreneurship in photonics.
Lars Penning and Ronny De Loor, founders of Next Scan Technology, were presented with the award on 6 April during the European Photonics Industry Consortium’s (EPIC) annual general meeting in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Next Scan Technology offers polygon scanner systems for ultrashort pulsed lasers. These scanners are particularly advantageous in large format laser processing applications ranging from patterning display surfaces or scribing solar cells, to micro-drilling and processing of semiconductor wafers.
‘Myself and Ronny De Loor are really proud to receive this EPIC Phoenix award,’ said Lars Penning, CEO and co-founder of Next Scan Technology, upon collecting the award. ‘For us, it is an honour to be elected by such a remarkable group of European entrepreneurs in photonics. From the very beginning, we believed in the opportunity to address an uncharted area in laser material processing. Since timing determines the necessity of an enabling technology, we are encouraged and convinced that we will grow with our partner Scanlab in addressing the markets of the future and make further contribution to the EPIC community.’
Next Scan Technology has its origins in 2006 when Penning bought a large-format laser cutter and engraving system to experiment with processing different materials. Together with his friend, De Loor, who had mastered high throughput laser scanning during his career in graphic arts, they investigated developing a polygon scanner for CO2 lasers to improve performance.
To reach the modulation performance of high power lasers, scanners needed pulse frequencies in the megahertz range, whereas, at that time, the state-of-the-art was 100kHz.
At the 2009 Laser World of Photonics trade fair, Next Scan Technology found that the laser material processing industry was interested in higher scanning speeds to unlock the potential of high powered ultrashort pulsed lasers.
Penning and De Loor founded Next Scan Technology in 2010, and a demonstrator product with innovative mirror optics was introduced at the 2011 edition of Laser World of Photonics in Munich. A lead user fuelled the company’s prototype development, and Next Scan Technology launched its first product at the 2013 Munich show. The company received interest from system integrators in Asia and received its first orders after the show.
At the end of 2015, Next Scan Technology was acquired by Scanlab and continues to provide innovative and distinctive scanning products.
‘The EPIC Phoenix award symbolises the innovative entrepreneurship that eventually leads to success stories of innovative European photonics companies,’ said Benno Oderkerk, CEO of Avantes in The Netherlands, and president of the board of directors of EPIC.