Press Release

New multifuncational factory for ZEISS in Wetzlar celebrates topping-out ceremony

1 July 2024
  • Technology company marks construction milestone at business location in Central Hesse
  • Expansion building strengthens ZEISS and Wetzlar as "City of Optics" as drivers of global digitalization
  • The investment of the ZEISS Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology segment makes Wetzlar attractive for new employees
Oberkochen, Germany | 01 July 2024 | ZEISS Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology

The ZEISS Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (SMT) segment has reached an important milestone in the expansion building of its new multifunctional factory in Dillfeld, Wetzlar: After groundbreaking in spring 2023, the company celebrated the topping-out ceremony on June 28, 2024. The new building expands the existing SMT plant at the Central Hesse business location and responds to the strong demand for semiconductor manufacturing equipment as well as high customer needs. In the future, around 150 employees will manufacture state-of-the-art DUV (deep ultraviolet light) lithography systems and other high-tech products on a production area of 12,000 square meters.

Site manager Katrin Ariki and Chief Operating Officer Christoph Hensche at the topping-out ceremony for the new ZEISS multifunctional factory in Wetzlar with the time capsule.
Ralf Niggemann

Site manager Katrin Ariki and Chief Operating Officer Christoph Hensche at the topping-out ceremony for the new ZEISS multifunctional factory in Wetzlar with the time capsule.

The path is clear for further growth and additional production capacities

With the topping-out ceremony of the shell construction, an important milestone of the construction project has been reached. Chief Operating Officer (COO) Christoph Hensche emphasizes the importance of the new multifunctional factory: "The increasing digitization is rising the demand for semiconductor manufacturing equipment, thus sustainably growing the ZEISS semiconductor segment. We are pleased that we are also expanding our capacities with a modern factory at the Wetzlar location and at the same time making production more efficient." The management team of ZEISS SMT, together with the employees from Wetzlar and the construction managers, participated in the topping-out ceremony. They witnessed the lifting of the topping-out wreath and listened to the speech of the construction manager.

New factory meets the most modern production conditions

The multifunctional factory complements the existing SMT location in Dillfeld, Wetzlar. In order to produce lithography optics with the highest precision in the future, the new plant must meet special construction requirements: "The state-of-the-art multifunctional factory will offer us excellent conditions for the production of DUV lithography optics in the future. The improved framework conditions include new production areas for optics, coating and assembly, as well as a construction that is resistant to vibrations," explains site manager Katrin Ariki, and continues: "The investment will also strengthen the region and the Wetzlar location as the "City of Optics": With the newly gained space and capacity, the personnel requirements will also increase.

Already in October 2023, the existing ZEISS location in Gloelstraße, Wetzlar, was expanded by over 3,000 square meters of newly created production space. This expansion paved the way for further growth through additional production capacities.

The Wetzlar multifunctional factory strengthens the heartbeat of digitalization

More than 80 percent of all microchips worldwide are manufactured with lithography optics from ZEISS SMT. Wetzlar is one of five German production sites of the technology company in the optical and optoelectronic industry. For more than two decades, around 500 employees have been producing DUV lithography optics here. This makes ZEISS a key driver of global digitization. In addition to lithography optics, ZEISS also produces high-quality binoculars, spotting scopes, and hunting optics in Wetzlar.

Portrait of Jeannine Rapp
Press Contact Jeannine Rapp Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
Portrait of Jeannine Rapp
Press Contact Jeannine Rapp Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH


ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. In the previous fiscal year, the ZEISS Group generated annual revenue totaling 10 billion euros in its four segments Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, Industrial Quality & Research, Medical Technology and Consumer Markets (status: 30 September 2023).

For its customers, ZEISS develops, produces and distributes highly innovative solutions for industrial metrology and quality assurance, microscopy solutions for the life sciences and materials research, and medical technology solutions for diagnostics and treatment in ophthalmology and microsurgery. The name ZEISS is also synonymous with the world's leading lithography optics, which are used by the chip industry to manufacture semiconductor components. There is global demand for trendsetting ZEISS brand products such as eyeglass lenses, camera lenses and binoculars.

With a portfolio aligned with future growth areas like digitalization, healthcare and Smart Production and a strong brand, ZEISS is shaping the future of technology and constantly advancing the world of optics and related fields with its solutions. The company's significant, sustainable investments in research and development lay the foundation for the success and continued expansion of ZEISS' technology and market leadership. ZEISS invests 15 percent of its revenue in research and development – this high level of expenditure has a long tradition at ZEISS and is also an investment in the future.

With over 44,000 employees, ZEISS is active globally in around 50 countries with more than 60 sales and service locations, 35 research and development facilities, and 35 production facilities worldwide (status: 31 March 2024). Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. The Carl Zeiss Foundation, one of the largest foundations in Germany committed to the promotion of science, is the sole owner of the holding company, Carl Zeiss AG.

Further information at


Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology

With its product portfolio and expertise, the Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology segment of ZEISS covers a variety of key processes in the production of microchips. Its products include semiconductor manufacturing optics – notably lithography optics – as well as photomask systems and process control solutions for semiconductor manufacturing. Thanks to ZEISS technology, microchips are becoming increasingly smaller, more powerful, more energy-efficient and more affordable. The electronic applications of these ongoing enhancements enable global progress in many disciplines such as technology, electronics, communication, entertainment, mobility and energy. Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology is headquartered in Oberkochen. Other sites include Jena, Rossdorf, Wetzlar and Aachen in Germany, as well as Bar Lev (Israel) and Dublin, CA and Danvers, MA (USA).

Press Photos

  • SMT topping-out ceremony Wetzlar

    Site manager Katrin Ariki and Chief Operating Officer Christoph Hensche at the topping-out ceremony for the new ZEISS multifunctional factory in Wetzlar with the time capsule.

    File size: 2 MB
  • SMT Wetzlar multifunctional factory

    Visualization design of the new multifunctional factory with areas for optics, coating and assembly. The new ZEISS SMT factory building in the Dillfeld district of Wetzlar will accommodate around 150 employees in a production area of over 12,000 m².

    File size: 2 MB