Competencies

As a solution provider First Sensor offers complete development services from a first draft and proof of concept up to the development of prototypes and finally serial production.

We are First Sensor

How is our world changing? What innovations will shape the future? These are the questions that drive our growth.

First Sensor was founded in the early 1990s as a Berlin technology start-up with a focus on the design and production of optical sensor chips. Since then, we have expanded our expertise with a systematic buy&build strategy to include the fields of pressure and microelectronic packaging. Our objective was and is to develop and produce sensors and sensor systems in addition to sensor chips and components for our customers along the value-added chain. Over a period of 25 years, our expertise and innovative strength in photonics, pressure and advanced electronics along with our standards of excellence and proximity to customers, employees and partners have enabled us to develop into a sensor technology company with global reach and approximately 1,000 employees. Today, we are represented at six locations in Germany with additional sales and production sites in the USA, Canada, China, Great Britain, France, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands along with a worldwide partner network.

Our organic growth in recent years bears testament to the increasing importance of sensor technology. Our three technological growth drivers of pressure, LiDAR and camera are mainly responsible for this. Today, we generate half of our sales from pressure sensors. However, the coming years will see us expand our sales in the area of photonics with LiDAR and camera solutions at above-average growth rates. Through the consistent implementation of our strategy for profitable growth, we want to continue the success story of First Sensor.
The first of our five strategic pillars focuses on the target markets of Industrial, Medical and Mobility, for which we develop standard sensors and custom solutions. Driven by the sweeping digitalization of the economy and society as well as the increasing connectivity of devices, the importance of sensor technology is growing in these markets. Concentrating on these three different technology sectors also enables us to hedge against cyclical fluctuations.
We generate roughly half of our sales in the Industrial target market, where the digital networking of products and production processes is forging ahead in the context of Industry 4.0. This market is also shaping the association between physical and virtual devices in what is known as the “Internet of Things” as well as the intelligent interaction of urban dwellers and the technology that surrounds them to create highly evolved smart cities. Our sensors are key components in focus applications such as smart building or factory automation. Not only do they enable more efficient configuration of industrial processes, they also improve the interaction between humans and machines. In the medium term, we see additional potential in the areas of aviation, machine vision and predictive maintenance.
Our customers in the target market Medical have relied on the precision and reliability of our products for many years. We generate roughly one quarter of our sales from sensor technology for medical applications. This growth market is being propelled by a greater awareness of health, which in turn is driving the trend for continuous monitoring of individual health using miniaturized medical technology in the form of E-Health solutions and telemedicine among other things. In conjunction with this, demand for proactive prevention and assistance systems that can be integrated into the everyday lives of patients is growing. Our high-precision sensors and sensor solutions are used primarily in the field of optical diagnostics and in ventilator systems. Even more precise optical applications for minimally invasive interventions also offer growth potential.
Key trends in the Mobility target market are partially and fully automated vehicles that promise increasing levels of convenience and road safety and the implementation of low-consumption and low-emissions green mobility. This growth market accounts for roughly one quarter of sales. The importance of sensor technology for use in passenger, commercial and special-purpose vehicles, including heavy-duty or smart farming machinery, is increasing in structural terms. Thanks to long-standing partnerships and the delivery of several million units, First Sensor is valued as a reliable supplier by leading automotive corporations. We anticipate accelerated growth from the increasing use of driver assistance systems with optical environment detection by LiDAR systems and cameras as well as from the fusion of various sensor technologies. In addition to the expanding application possibilities of optical sensor technology in the mobility of tomorrow, green mobility is becoming a growing focus application. After all, pressure sensors play a key role not only in low-consumption and low-emission combustion engines, but also in the introduction of new drive technologies.
As part of the second pillar of our growth strategy, we are concentrating on key customers and key products in all three target markets to generate and leverage economies of scale. Our key customers are those with whom we generate one million euros or more in sales. We develop customized solutions with them based on close partnerships. In this respect, our custom development work opens up attractive economies of scale. Since 2014, we have doubled our sales to key customers and it now accounts for some 60 percent with potential for further growth. For customers with lower quantity requirements, we develop our portfolio of standard products in a targeted manner. We currently generate 30 percent of our sales with these customers. Our key products account for 80 percent of sales involving standard products. These are products that contribute sales of at least one million euros per year respectively. Sales with these key products has increased by 30 percent in the last five years.
The third pillar in our profitable growth strategy is the forward integration of sensor technology along the value-added chain to meet the growing demand for complex solutions that combine multiple functions in customer applications. Forward integration allows us to increase our share of value-added by offering our customers solutions that increasingly go beyond the delivery of sensor chips and components. In addition to customer-specific sensors, these include sensor systems and, in the future, the fusion of different sensor types. Our customers benefit from the fact that they receive complex components for their products from a single source. To this end, we focus on the continuous evolution of our core design competencies as well as on producing sensor chips and high-precision integration of powerful modules. In addition, we are steadily expanding our expertise in other process technologies as well as in software and sensor communication.
As part of our fourth strategic pillar, we are bolstering our international presence as a manufacturer of standard sensors and sensor solutions “made in Germany” step by step in order to tap additional sales potential. Our focus in this context is on the North American and Asian markets, where we already have an especially dynamic growth. In just a few years, the share of these markets in total sales has reached double-digit levels. In addition to internationalization, our focus is on further expanding our strong position in the German-speaking and European region.
All four pillars of our profitable growth strategy are based on operational excellence. In addition to successfully rolling out SAP and refining our core processes, we have implemented sustainable measures to reduce lead times, for target-cost-oriented development, and to improve delivery reliability. We are continuously working to streamline our business processes with a focus on lean management and are currently switching our photonic and pressure products from four-inch to six-inch production on a phased basis. This will deliver significantly higher productivity and lower manufacturing costs. Furthermore, the integration of external partners is helping to make our production network more agile. We already work with contract manufacturers in Europe and Asia and will identify additional partners through a targeted outsourcing process with the aim of selectively outsourcing the production of commodity technologies or work steps involving a high degree of manual work. This way, we are expanding our capacity to develop and produce new, complex sensors and sensor solutions at our production locations while at the same time further improving profitability. In the medium term, we are targeting annual growth of 10 percent and an EBIT margin of initially 10 percent by 2020.
Company
First Sensor is one of the world's leading suppliers in the field of sensor systems. In the growth market of sensor systems, First Sensor develops and produces customer-specific solutions for the ever-increasing number of applications in the industrial, medical, and mobility target markets. Our goal here is to identify, meet and solve the challenges of the future with our innovative sensor solutions early on.
Investor Relations
Our investor relations activities aim at raising the international publicity of First Sensor AG and at consolidating and extending the perception of our share as an attractive growth stock. This means we keep our online communication transparent, comprehensive and continuous in order to enhance your trust in our share.
Tailored Solutions
In the growth market of sensor systems, First Sensor develops and produces customer-specific sensors, electronics, modules and complex systems for the ever-increasing number of applications in the industrial, medical, and mobility target markets. As a solution provider the company offers complete development services from a first draft and proof of concept up to the development of prototypes and finally serial production. First Sensor offers comprehensive development expertise, state-of-the-art packaging technologies and production capacities in clean rooms from ISO class 8 to 5.
Competencies
In the growth market of sensor systems, First Sensor develops and produces customer-specific sensors, electronics, modules and complex systems for the ever-increasing number of applications in the industrial, medical, and mobility target markets. As a solution provider the company offers complete development services from a first draft and proof of concept up to the development of prototypes and finally serial production. First Sensor offers comprehensive development expertise, state-of-the-art packaging technologies and production capacities in clean rooms from ISO class 8 to 5.
Career
Innovation, excellence, proximity – these are our values, our ambition, our drive. Anything less is not an option. Our sensor solutions stand for technical innovation and economic growth. As such, they form the basis for the development and application of new technologies in almost all areas of life. We aim to shape this future together with you.

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