Three acquisitions extend AFM in all directions -- Interview with zouhaitao, general manager of Brooke nanosurface instruments (BNs) China in 2017, instrument information took the opportunity of acquiring hysitron to meet zouhaitao, general manager of Brooke nanosurface instruments (BNs) China (hereinafter referred to as Jeffrey). In just two years, BNS has successively acquired nanoscale infrared spectroscopy company ANASYS instruments, optical metrology supplier alicona imaging GmbH and German analytical instrument manufacturer JPK instruments Ag (JPK). The three acquisitions are closely related to BNS. What new look will the influx of fresh blood bring to BNS' products and businesses? In the past two years, where is the development of BNS? With these questions, the instrument information came to Jeffrey again...
zouhaitao, general manager of Brooke nano surface instrument department (BNs) in China
the acquisition result: the AFM business territory was expanded vertically and horizontally
turned the enemy into a friend and launched a rapid biological science microscope joint platform
in the past five years, life science was an important part of BNS atomic force microscope (AFM) business, and JPK, which had just been acquired, It is one of the strongest competitors of BNS in this business field. "At present, the capacity of this market is limited, and the fierce competition has had an adverse impact on the performance growth of both parties in the life science product line, which in turn has limited the investment of both parties in product R & D and upgrading." Jeffrey said that he said that JPK's products are very successful in terms of stability and integration with the needs of life science users, while BNS' AFM has patented technologies such as fastScan, which is very suitable for biological science research. After the acquisition, BNS conducted in-depth research and integrated the products of both sides at the technical level
on the one hand, the original fastScan technology of BNS with line scanning speed up to Hz is introduced into JPK products. At the same time, the original characteristics of JPK biological AFM can be combined with optics synchronously. Based on this, BNS has just launched the latest platform for AFM combined with inverted microscope, fluorescence microscope and confocal microscope. "We are exclusive to achieve this speed on the combined platform. We are also looking forward to the prospect of this platform. There is still a lot of room for technological growth in the future." Jeffrey emphasized
incorporate chemical information into the AFM detection landscape
anasys is a company in the United States that develops and manufactures nano-scale infrared spectroscopy and thermal measurement instruments. Its main product is the fast scanning nano infrared spectroscopy product based on AFM, which is one of the brands with the highest share in the market segment. Jeffrey said that in the past, BNS' AFM scanning probe technology basically obtained physical information, such as force, electricity, magnetism, etc. with the joining of ANASYS, BNS introduced mature nano infrared spectrum patent technology, and AFM detection has since expanded its detection application to the field of chemical information, "It is equivalent to adding an infrared spectrum joint accessory to AFM. Through the combination of this technology and bnsafm technology, users can also analyze the structure, composition and distribution of surface micro areas with up to ten nano resolutions on the basis of their original functions, which is of great significance for the research of Interface Science and other aspects."
"in the past, the resolution of the infrared spectrum was about 500 nm, but through the technology of ANASYS AFM sensor probe, the resolution was directly increased to 10 nm. Many invisible things can now be distinguished through it." Jeffrey said that although this application scheme has just begun to be implemented, it is widely used in the fields of polymer, material science, two-dimensional carbon nano materials and semiconductor industry. Famous companies such as Intel and TSMC have purchased this product, which has great growth potential
addon optical 3D "fast runner" extends the application tentacles of traditional industries
bns acquired alicona imaging GmbH at the end of 2018, which is an Austrian manufacturer. Its core product technology is focus variation automatic zoom technology, which is mainly used to provide optical 3D surface measurement solutions. Unlike the original white light interferometer of BNS for optical three-dimensional measurement, alicona products are faster and easier to operate, and are very suitable for products with large surface deformation and fluctuation. It can measure the topography and roughness in the measurement range from 10 nanometers to hundreds of millimeters
this product is mainly used in the automotive and mechanical processing fields. BMW and other famous brands are its customers, forming a good complement and expansion with the original product line of BNS. "In the past, we may have paid more attention to high-tech fields such as semiconductors in the industrial field. The acquisition of alicona has extended our reach to the traditional industrial field." Jef added Frey
the reason for acquisition: kill two birds with one stone to break the bottleneck and increase revenue
in Jeffrey's view, the main idea of BNS acquisition is to achieve the balance between continuously breaking through the technical bottleneck and continuously increasing capital income. "As a technology-based enterprise, it will inevitably encounter bottlenecks in product R & D at a certain stage of development, and performance growth will become more and more difficult. In turn, it will affect R & D investment. Successful acquisition is one of the best ways to break the situation." Therefore, BNS will continue to look for some forward-looking and innovative technologies. The common testing equipment for exterior wall insulation materials include: electronic universal testing machine for insulation materials, cutting device for insulation materials, on-site pull-out tester for exterior wall insulation materials and other small and micro companies. They will acquire them at the embryonic stage of their good development momentum, and re create them by adding foreign technologies and combining the existing platform of BNS, Achieve the goal of killing two birds with one stone in R & D innovation and revenue growth
the effect of R & D and innovation is immediate. For example, BNS and hysitron, a nanomechanical instrument manufacturer acquired in early 2017, launched a new technical means DMA on AFM through in-depth technical cooperation, which innovatively realized the function of obtaining in-situ rheological mechanical information on AFM. So is this strategy effective in terms of revenue? Take hysitron as an example. According to Jeffrey, hysitron's own performance has doubled in more than two years since the acquisition of hysitron. By 2019, on the basis of doubling, it still achieved an increase of more than 20%. "At present, the products of hysitron have been transformed from the former agent to BNS direct selling. The integration of this acquisition is undoubtedly very successful, and such success is likely to be replicated in the latest three acquisitions." Jeffrey said
another important reason why the acquisition of BNS is very effective is that the user groups and products can have a good synergy with the original system of BNS, so as to quickly provide the same kind of user groups with richer solutions and solutions. "We have an industrial customer of AFM optical profiler. They encountered problems related to the source analysis of pollutants during production and processing. They came to us for help. In the past, we could only try to solve them through mechanical means such as sample surface defect analysis, but now we can provide a chemical way of nano infrared spectroscopy to help them provide an effective solution." Jeffrey said excitedly that he said that now this customer is ready to purchase the nano infrared spectrum equipment of ANASYS. Besides the industrial field, more abundant types of collaborative products are widely welcomed by the active scientific research user group. At present, many users have also applied for the budget to purchase BNS new products
after the acquisition: face the complex situation in China and speed up the mining of the industrial market
as an American manufacturer, the Sino US trade war now full of gunpowder is an unavoidable problem for more than 3000 businesses of BN. Jeffrey said that the trade war has indeed brought practical difficulties to BNS' performance growth in China in 2019: on the one hand, the import tariff of AFM has become 20%, which users will naturally deduct from the budget. On the other hand, the sanctions imposed by the U.S. government on Huawei and other companies inevitably make relevant users start to look for alternatives other than U.S. products. However, Jeffrey said that relying on the synergy brought by the acquisition and acquisition, BNS still maintained the increase in sales. Although the growth rate declined, it is expected that the set goal can still be achieved in 2019. "We can't predict how long this event will last, but we will face the difficulties and give better feedback to customers and continue to forge ahead through continuous innovation and development of product technology and continuous expansion of application industry." Jeffrey said
jeffrey said that with the extension of the tentacles brought by the acquisition, BNS will continue to accelerate the exploration of industrial opportunities in the Chinese market in the next step. Both individual and government investment in China's industry are growing rapidly. What is more gratifying is that at present, China's industry has got rid of the stage of extensive low-end production, and the state is also continuously encouraging industrial products to improve their scientific and technological content and innovation. Therefore, in the future, China's industry will increasingly need the support of scientific research tools and R & D means, which is an important opportunity for BNS. "Serving industrial users has been an important direction of our research and development in recent years. We have also accumulated rich experience in serving industrial users. We understand that industrial users have very high requirements for product automation, stability and repeatability, and fully provide products that meet their requirements. For example, in the hard disk industry, our products can meet their requirements "The standard deviation requirements for the results made by different operators at different times on different instruments and equipment."
nowadays, in the industrial field, the semiconductor industry has a very hot momentum, with a large number of factories built and a great demand for AFM. Jeffrey said that BNS has a good user base in China's semiconductor industry. Intel and TSMC are its customers. The products provided by BNS mainly help in the field of R & D and defect analysis. Bsemi, another parallel Department of Brooke, mainly provides fully automated testing equipment. Jeffrey said that the two departments have also been sharing information and cooperating with each other. In the future, BNS will continue to increase its research in the semiconductor field. This year, domestic power batteries will continue to grow and promote their market. He is confident that BNS will continue to expand its influence. "Semiconductor companies have their own systems, and they also have their own references when building factories. The risk of changing suppliers is relatively high. As long as the equipment is OK, it will generally continue to be used. This also makes technology-based enterprises like us confident!"
postscript: personnel restructuring and sales channels after the acquisition have always been a topic of concern. Jeffrey said that at present, JPK and ANASYS have integrated into the business system of BNS and added sales and technical personnel. Alicona is still operating independently for the time being, but it has also changed from the previous agency model to a combination of direct sales and agency. With the follow-up business combing, the three acquisitions will bring more obvious blessing to BNS. In addition, although opportunities and challenges coexist, the company's acquisition strategy will not end at this point, and will continue to be one of the important drivers of BNS development in the future