Press Release

ZEISS acquires high-tech company based in Aachen

On February 1, 2024, the Aachen site of Philips Engineering Solutions (PES) will become part of the ZEISS Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (SMT) segment. The company specializes in equipment and special machine construction.

1 February 2024 · 3 min read

  • ZEISS SMT is expanding its production and research capacities to meet the high global demand for semiconductor manufacturing equipment.
  • Philips Engineering Solutions Aachen will be integrated into the semiconductor segment of ZEISS.
  • Around 40 employees will be taken over – with more than 100 employees expected to work at the new site in the future.
Oberkochen/Aachen, Germany | 01 February 2024 | ZEISS Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology

Megatrends such as artificial intelligence, autonomous driving and Industry 4.0 require microchips that are ever smaller, ever more efficient – and above all ever more powerful. A key factor in the modern production of integrated circuits involves the use of increasingly precise optical systems for wafer scanners – the machines used to manufacture microprocessors. More than 80 percent of all microchips worldwide are manufactured with optical systems from ZEISS, and the trend is rising. "We want to play an active role in shaping digitalization – while enabling the semiconductor industry to make new technological leaps," declares Andreas Pecher, member of the ZEISS Executive Board and President & Chief Executive Officer of the SMT segment. "With the acquisition of Philips Engineering Solutions (PES) Aachen, we're expanding our capacities in the area of research and development. Aachen itself is a really attractive and strategically important location for us."

A passion for precision connects

The two companies have been working closely together for years. "We're familiar with each other and value each other's individual expertise," says Dr. Hans-Michael Solowan. Dr. Solowan, who holds a doctorate in physics, will be in charge of the Aachen site and will be responsible for staff development there. PES has proven itself above all as a supplier for optical measurement technology in semiconductor production. "The production of microchips is all about precision in the nanometer range. This calls for the utmost precision from every measuring machine in the production cycle," explains Solowan. "PES boasts an outstanding track record as a highly experienced and reliable supplier to us – so much so that we've been able to push the boundaries of what's technically feasible. We share a common understanding of precision and innovation. Logically, then, it's the next step for PES in Aachen to become a new location for ZEISS SMT – thereby laying foundation for further growth in the region," Solowan sums up.

Strategically important location in a high-tech region

Around 40 employees currently work at PES in Aachen – all having received a takeover offer from ZEISS. "We're planning to boost the workforce to more than 100 at our new location in future," states Solowan. The proximity to the colleges and universities currently cooperating which ZEISS should also help in the search for specialists. Other suppliers and partners are also located nearby. These include ZEISS' strategic partner: the manufacturer of microchip lithography machines ASML in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, around 100 kilometers away.

Part of ZEISS SMT's global growth strategy

ZEISS SMT remains firmly committed to its long-term growth strategy. "As a region abounding in modern technology, Aachen offers us space for fresh ideas and growing teams," says Andreas Pecher. This is because the Semiconductor Technology segment is growing at all locations worldwide. "The demand for our technologies is high. That's why we're investing in people, machines and infrastructure – so as to remain a reliable partner for the semiconductor industry," declares Pecher. Both companies have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

ZEISS' Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (SMT) segment currently employs around 40 people at its new site in Aachen – in the long term, this figure is expected to rise to more than 100.

ZEISS' Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (SMT) segment currently employs around 40 people at its new site in Aachen – in the long term, this figure is expected to rise to more than 100.

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 around 43,000 employees, ZEISS is active globally in almost 50 countries with around 30 production sites, 60 sales and service companies and 27 research and development facilities (status: 30 September 2023). 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).

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