Long-term partnerships increase the efficiency of R&D
Caption: Adrian Peterhans, Head of R&D Fiber Optics and Aline Schwendener, R&D Connectors and Technis
Interview with Adrian Peterhans, Head of R&D Fiber Optics
How has your work changed in recent years?
In the past, customers came to us with clear guidelines about which product needed to be developed with which properties. Today, a need is brought to our attention and we develop potential solutions to a fundamental problem. This is a much more complex requirement that also needs more know-how – about the market, the customers and the technology. The importance of global cooperation has also greatly increased. On today’s global markets, both technical and social trends must be considered – the type of communication and working methods are, after all, strongly influenced by those trends. Consistently learning and gaining new insights is an absolute must. And we will always have to face the challenge to maintain a balance between short-term and long-term goals.
What are the development priorities in Fiber Optics?
Our focus is clearly on the communications market where the development cycle is becoming shorter and shorter. We develop integral solutions – from connectors to cables and cable systems to complete installations in data centers. At the same time, we are constantly setting new industry standards thanks to our leading know-how. Examples include CLIK! for quick and easy installation of master antenna satellite TV systems, or BLINK with completely new connectors for fiber optic cables in the home market. Our competitive market position builds on our great expertise and depth of production.
The communications market is very fast paced – how can R&D keep up with the increasingly short intervals between mobile communication generations?
We leverage the benefits of developing new platforms and subsequently build our product families on this in a modular way. This means that we can quickly offer our customers individual solutions that are tailored exactly to their needs. In parallel, we continuously develop new modules to further expand our foundations.
What are the customer needs of tomorrow?
Not an easy question! Customers have very specific requirements. Our goal is to find solutions that will be widely accepted on the market. I think one of the Fiber Optics division’s strengths is responding to customer needs and being a long-term partner. And we seek to do the same with our suppliers. After all, cooperation is also a question of efficiency for both sides.