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Accelerating the Future, One Photon at a Time

To speed up the shift from electronic to photonic integrated circuits (PICs), a significant improvement in the cost and manufacturing cycle time is essential. Etteplan has devised an R&D solution that expedites this process. This back-end assembly machine leverages a user-friendly and efficient block-based programming interface accessible through a standard web browser, allowing users to independently program the production sequences.

The importance of photonics in various industries

Photonics is vital in various industries, including telecommunications, healthcare, renewable energy, and manufacturing. It enables the advancement of technologies such as fiber optics and lasers, which are essential for communication networks, medical imaging, and solar panels.

Etteplan plays a significant role in photonics research and development by offering innovative solutions and tools that accelerate the R&D process. Traditional processes in photonics R&D are complex, time-consuming, and expensive, hindering progress. Limited accessibility to advanced tools and resources also restricts innovation. Addressing these challenges is crucial for creating a more inclusive and collaborative environment for photonics R&D.

Etteplan's Solution: A Game-changer in Photonics R&D

Etteplan's solution in photonics R&D is a game-changer, offering innovative features that revolutionize the development process. The modular machine platform we developed provides researchers with advanced tools and resources, such as assembling a wide range of micro-optical elements including active alignment, streamlining design, simulation, and testing phases. It offers various benefits in terms of flexibility, modularity, and scalability.


Flexibility and short changeover times support quick testing and validating of prototypes and products


Prototyping > semi-automated production > automated production - Operator assisted loading > automatic (un)loading > production volume


Configurable and expandable to production requirements - From piece-to-piece to mass manufacturing - Let the system grow with your production volume requirements

Etteplan Indigo product line is an assembly solution for operator assisted, semi-automatic to fully automated production of photonic devices. A solution where two optical components needs be aligned and bonded within ultra-precision. The machine platform can be modular configured for applications for chip to chip alignment, lens to chip, optical fiber to chip, and many others.

  • - 50%
    Cost reduction
  • < 30 seconds
    Record-breaking cycle time for photonic assembly

    Fully automated

  • 17 urad typical 0.02 dB
  • < 1,1 m2
    Small floor space
  • < 100 nm application specific
    Sub micron accuracy

    Automatic photonic device assembly

  • Closed-loop
    Active alignment

Assembly functions

Mating of standard optical connector and gripper technology

Automatic curing

Automatic dispensing

Active alignment

Discover more about photonics alignment in action

The cycle time of our Indigo platform enables high accuracy on a micro-scale and ultra fast alignment of two small optical elements during the packaging process. Indigo can deliver a packaged product – active alignment and fiber termination included – in just under 30 seconds.

See how it works in practice

In collaboration with our partner CITC we've developed a solution on the active alignment of optical fibers in packaging. In this video you can see how the modular machine platform works in practice.

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Speeding up design and simulation phases

By reducing development time and maximizing efficiency, design and simulation phases in R&D are accelerated.

Reducing costs

Flexibility and short changeover times empower researchers to independently and quickly test and validate prototypes and products, leading to efficient development and cost savings.

Enhancing collaboration and knowledge sharing

Etteplan's solution fosters collaboration and facilitates knowledge sharing among researchers in photonics R&D, promoting a more efficient and collaborative environment for innovation and breakthroughs.

Control software

HMI easy to use, to develop and teach applications.

Reduce dependency on machine supplier

No external programmers or support of your machine supplier needed anymore to make the smallest of changes.

Data/media logging and reporting function

Active Alignment: precision at its best

Adimec, a leading provider of reliable and high-performance industrial camera systems, is known for delivering crisp, clear images for the machine vision, global security, and healthcare applications. Achieving high accuracy during the alignment and bonding of CMOS sensors to lens systems is critical for ensuring optimal image quality. To accomplish this, Adimec was supported by Etteplan. By combining active alignment with bonding methods, Adimec creates metrology cameras that offer superior resolution and exceptional performance.

"Beside the benefit for R&D and scale-ups of faster changeovers, we also see benefits for companies with a great need for quick and easy changeover of the packaging machine in order to meet production demands. The faster you can make the switch, the more you can produce and the faster you can meet your customers' demands. Your focus should be on improving and making the final product. Not on the machines making them."

Niels Jansen

Manager Engineering

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Niels Jansen

Manager Engineering

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