Mycronic's roots date back to the early 1970s – when consumer electronics were in mass production and microprocessors already were starting to become commercially available. The age of information technology and advanced electronics was just around the corner. It was a good time for anyone passionate about innovation.
At that time, Gerhard Westerberg was leading a group of microlithography researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. Their goal was to develop equipment capable of writing photo masks for the semiconductor industry. A company was formed in early 80s and the first laser-based mask writer was introduced.
Around the same time, two young inventors, Lennart Stridsberg and Gunnar Rodin, formed the company MYDATA AB. While building desktop computers for measurement and control, they also developed a unique innvative system for manual circuit board assembly by using a fast-moving beam of light to show the operator where card components were to be mounted.
Adapting and thriving
Key to the future success of both of these companies was their ability to adapt and take advantage of market opportunities.
In 1983, at an electronics exhibition in Paris, the MYDATA engineers were struck by how inflexible machines for assembling printed circuit boards (PCB) for electronics were. Everyone was focusing on large volumes and long series. MYDATA decided to focus instead on faster assembly of prototype boards by making it easier to change components and switch between different jobs.
The company was renamed MYDATA automation AB in 1984 and its placement machine, the TP9, was launched soon after. It was the first completely automated, flexible pick-and-place machine capable of handling all types of components and circuit board sizes. Volumes increased. In 1989, eighty TP9 machines were installed, the product was launched in the USA and the establishment of a global agent and distributor network was started.
By 1991, the laser mask writer company had evolved into Micronic Laser Systems. A weak semiconductor market led to a change in strategy and the company began producing a shadow mask writer for cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs and displays. It quickly became the industry standard and orders took off during the mid 1990s, particularly in Asia. By 1999, the company had grown from 30 to over 150 employees.
As laptops entered the market, Micronic Laser Systems introduced a new solution for producing photo masks for the manufacture of flat displays. The success of its laser mask writers for displays meant the company was able to re-enter the semiconductor market. New machine series were launched, our unique SLM technology was introduced, and laser mask writer usage was expanded to include electronic packaging.
In March 2000, Micronic Laser Systems was listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. Orders for its laser mask writers for the manufacture of photo masks for displays reached record levels in the mid 2000s. A new solution for the manufacture of advanced photo masks for displays was introduced in 2007 – the same year that Apple introduced the iPhone. There was an explosion in market growth. Smartphones, digital cameras, tablets – all sorts of electronic devices started needing displays. Every display mask was now being manufactured with our systems.
At MYDATA, innovation continued apace. A high-speed mount head was developed and the MY series of pick-and-place machines was introduced. By 2001, the company had over 200 employees and an installed base of 2200 machines at 1200 customer sites. By the end of the decade, the company's offering had been strengthened with an intelligent component feeder system, a new series of pick-and-place machines with dual mount heads, and a new intelligent component tower storage system. MYDATA had also broken new ground by launching the industry's first ever jet printer for the application of solder paste to PCBs.
Vision and leadership
In 2009, Micronic Laser Systems acquired MYDATA automation AB, and the Group changed its name to Micronic Mydata AB the following year. Building on its new combined strengths, the company extended its leadership position in its two areas of business.
On the SMT side, a new series of faster, more accurate pick-and-place machines was introduced in 2013, and the next-generation Jet Printer – 50 percent faster than its predecessor – was introduced the following year.
On the pattern generation side, a world-class support organization was established, and the next generation of laser mask writers was developed to enable the efficient production of future electronics with advanced displays.
In 2014, the name of the parent company and its subsidiaries was changed to Mycronic. We now operate under a unified brand with a common goal – to ensure that our customers always remain one step ahead.
Acquisitions contribute to growth
In 2016 Mycronic completed three acquisitions of companies that supply key production solutions for the electronics industry, thereby securing future growth and access to new technologies.
The acquisitions complement an already strong product portfolio with offerings such as automated storage solutions for electronics components, equipment for dispensing of assembly fluids and systems for assembly of camera modules for the automotive industry.
Mycronic makes strategic acquisition - AEI
Mycronic acquires Shenzhen Axxon Automation Co.,Ltd
Mycronic acquires company and strengthens the SMT offering within Assembly Solutions - Vi Technology
Mycronic acquires MRSI Systems, LLC in the USA
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