Mona Okroy-Hellweg
Public Relations Manager
IVAM Microtechnology Network
Feb. 19, 2020
Mona Okroy-Hellweg
Public Relations Manager
IVAM Microtechnology Network

4 questions for IVAM board member Bärbel Schilling

Which technologies are particularly important to you and why?

Glass wafers from Plan Optik AG

Today's Plan Optik AG was founded in 1962 by my father as Optik Schilling KG. So I have been closely connected to our family-run company from birth. I am particularly interested in the material glass, because our family business has been involved in the manufacture of glass products from the very beginning. 

The manufacture and structuring of products made of glass is particularly fascinating with regard to the variety of possible areas of application. 

I also find it exciting to observe how the technologies for surface processing and structuring of glass wafers for various areas of application such as sensors or bio- and nanotechnology have developed over the years.

And of course it is particularly exciting to see how our products are used in the manufacture of modern microsystems for digitalization and the Internet of Things.

IVAM member profile of Plan Optik AG


Where do you see the greatest future potential for these technologies?

The production and miniaturization of modern microsystems ensures improved and more intelligent networking and significantly drives digitalization and the Internet of Things (IoT). I also continue to see the production of extremely thin materials for flexible electronics or wearables as a major trend. 

These systems are very well-received in society and offer a great advantage for personal self-control. Here, of course, the area of ​​health is of particular importance. Modern MEMS components and sensors enable us to obtain the necessary information about our own body or our own movement behavior at any time. 

In the field of microfluidics, which we treat through our subsidiary Little Things Factory, there are also some exciting fields in which I see great potential for the future: These are, above all, the possibilities in the field of lab-on-a-chip, which I would regard as particularly significant. 

Which technological innovation is most impressive for you personally?

Currently, I find the development in the area of 5G networks, i.e. high-frequency applications, super exciting. This is where our copper / glass technology is used, for example to build the antennas for these networks. 

On the application side, I find the development of wearables and the associated opportunities very interesting for private users.

Source: Plan Optik AG, IVAM-Member Profile

From your point of view as an entrepreneur: What advantages does a network like IVAM offer in times when theoretically everything can be found online at any time?

In my view, one of the greatest advantages of a network like IVAM is that the bundled representation of interests of individual companies a greater influence to be exerted - in politics and business. 

In addition, IVAM's broadly themed events, such as specialist conferences, trade fairs, specialist groups and so on, always offer a very good platform for the exchange of a wide variety of information - also called networking - and in my opinion, it is impossible to imagine the digital age without them.

Since the last elections of the executive board in 2019, the five-member board of the IVAM Microtechnology Network has included Dr. Lutz Aschke from TRUMPF Photonic Components as Chairman, Dominique Bouwes from Micronit as Deputy Chairwoman, Matthias Lorenz from AEMtec GmbH, Bärbel Schilling from Plan Optik AG and Dr. Hans van den Vlekkert from LioniX BV.

Background: IVAM Microtechnology Network: Changes after board elections