The Synova Story
SYNOVA’s story begins with the invention of the water jet guided laser developed in the 1990s at the Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland, made by PhD student Bernold Richerzhagen. This innovation resolved a number of well-known problems associated with existing cutting technologies in industrial applications. Consequently, Synova was founded by Richerzhagen in 1997 in Lausanne to make the patented Laser MicroJet (LMJ) technology available to high-tech industrial manufacturers.
Since 1998, various industries worldwide have switched to this laser process for their production needs. In addition, the particular advantages have led to a number of new applications such as in the domain of sensitive material processing where Synova was the first company to introduce the laser into semiconductor wafer dicing in 2001.
Since 2003, the company established wholly owned local subsidiaries in the USA, Japan, India and Korea for optimized customer support. These have since been expanded to include micro-machining centers (MMCs) with Taiwan and China planned for the future.
SYNOVA presently has 75 employees including 35 engineers focused primarily on researching new material cutting solutions, further applications and laser cutting equipment. Aside from research, both the final assembly and testing of up to 100 machines a year are performed in Synova’s modern, 3000 square meter facility in Ecublens.
In 2010 Synova successfully entered the gem diamond cutting business. Subsequently, the company was strategically re-organized according to market segments forming three distinct business units: Diamonds, Semiconductors and Metal Industry.
SYNOVA has established several partnerships with leading industrial machine manufacturers for the production of LMJ machines, most recently with Makino. The company also cooperates with respected research institutions, universities and industry players on strategic projects to further develop and exploit the technology, including the Fraunhofer ILT and IPT, EMPA and Carl Zeiss Jena.
SYNOVA is now a company with global reach focused on delivering highest-quality solutions and services to its customers wherever they are. We strongly believe that the motor of our success and growth are our technology, experience and dedication to our customers, today and tomorrow.
New distribution agreement with Makino/ SST for North American Market
Over 250 LMJ systems sold worldwide
De Beers Group of Companies entered as a new minority shareholder
Launch of first Laser Cutting System with 5 axes (LCS 50-5)
|2014||Partnership with GE and Makino for production of GE gas turbine parts|
Introduction of three business units: Diamonds, Metal Industry, Semiconductors
OEM agreement with Makino for the manufacture of LMJ machines based on Makino platform (MCS)
|2011||Launch of Diamond Cutting Systems (DCS)|
|2010||Entry in gem diamond cutting business|
|2007||Extension of existing business model through technology licensing partnerships and LMJ Integration Package (LMJ-iP)|
|2006||Beginning of global expansion efforts with implementation of Micro-Machining Centers (MMCs) for customer application tests|
First Laser Stencil (LSS) and Edge Grinding Systems (LGS)
Relocation of international headquarters to Ecublens-Lausanne, Switzerland
|2001||Introduction of Laser Dicing Systems (LDS) for electronics and semiconductor industry and Laser Cutting Systems (LCS)|
Foundation of Synova S.A.
Numerous awards for LMJ breakthrough invention
|1993||Invention of the water jet guided laser technology (LMJ) at the EPFL in Switzerland|
|2014||Laser MicroJet named one of “World’s Most Amazing Breakthroughs in Science & Technology”||McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology, U.S.A.|
|2005||European Award for technology Innovation||Frost & Sullivan|
|2004||Entrepreneur of the Year 2004 (Finalist)||Ernst & Young|
|1997||Förderpreis Technopark Zürich||Technopark Zürich|
|1997||Techhnologiestandort Schweiz||OSEC, Swiss Center for Trade Promotion|
|1997||Sonderpreis Espace Mittelland||Cantons of Central Switzerland|
|1996||KTI-Label||Swiss Innovation Promotion Agency, Bern|
In the early nineties at the Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (Switzerland), Synova’s founder successfully developed the world’s first water jet guided laser - a groundbreaking technology previously attempted by many scientists without success. A milestone achievement in laser history, Synova’s proprietary technology, Laser MicroJet®, combines a high-pressure water jet with a high-power laser beam usable for material ablation.
The advantages of this hybrid process are clearly significant: ultra-precise, fast, clean, efficient cutting with a narrow kerf width - all of which is absent with no heat damage, contamination and beam divergence. This new ‘wet’ material processing method is, in many regards, superior to existing technologies such as conventional ‘dry’ lasers, electrical discharge machining, diamond blade saws, chemical machining and high-pressure water jets.
As the sole inventor of Laser MicroJet®, the company maintains all rights to this technology. In almost 20 years of accumulated expertise in liquid-guided laser technology, Synova holds numerous international patents and trademarks, including:
- Liquid jet-guided lasers
- Tape for laser dicing
- Water film device to protect work piece surface
- Gas-enveloped liquid jets for increased coherence length
- Water back-strike protection
- Slim coupling system for 3D-applications
- Enhanced-quality processing strategies
- Automated detection of liquid jet position
- Brands Laser-MicroJet®, Laser-Tape®, Synova® and HD Hybrid Dicing®
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