By Laura Marshall, Photonics Spectra and BioPhotonics managing editor
WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2011 — Changes in the market, users’ needs, and technological innovations led Carl Zeiss to combine its MicroImaging GmbH and NTS units, forming a new division called Carl Zeiss Microscopy. Dr. Ulrich Simon, president and CEO of Carl Zeiss MicroImaging, discussed the new direction at an off-site press event during the Society for Neuroscience conference.
The resulting entity will be a €600-million company with 2500 employees in Germany, the UK and Massachusetts. Its technology will combine light-based and charged-particle microscopy, covering macro to nano resolution for a variety of applications under two divisions: biosciences and materials.
A particular emphasis will be correlative microscopy. “We’re training our customers to combine methods,” Simon said, adding that input from users has always sparked new developments. “When we deliver a system, we know more about it than the user. One month later, they know more than we do. We’re in ‘observe and learn’ mode as much as we’re in ‘teach and show.’ ”
Carl Zeiss officials also discussed new product releases at the event, including a new expansion of their ZEN software, which now can streamline research and training by controlling all light microscopy systems; the Axio Zoom.V16 microscope, combining low magnification and wide field of view with high numerical aperture; and the AxioVert.A1 inverted routine microscope, which offers Hoffman modulation contrast, differential interference contrast, PlasDIC and fluorescence capabilities. The range of technologies was developed in response to customer input.
“We try to follow the question, to figure out what the customer needs,” Simon said.
The Carl Zeiss Group, headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany, has approximately 24,000 employees globally and annual revenues of around 2.98 billion euros. Its technological focus spans a range of industries from semiconductors to medical systems, microscopy to metrology, and consumer optronics to eyeglass lenses.
Editor's note: Carl Zeiss Microscopy began operating on Oct. 1. "The next step is the legal integration of the two companies in Germany, due for finalization by the summer of 2012," Simon said in a press release on Nov. 17. "In the USA, France, UK and Japan, the legal integration has already been completed."