What lasers make possible: Insights for the Mayor of Kassel - Innovations as the key to success for HÜBNER Photonics

In a challenging market situation, innovations are the key to success. In a visit to HÜBNER that included discussions with owner Reinhard Hübner and Managing Director Ingolf Cedra, Kassel’s Mayor Dr. Sven Schoeller learned about how the HÜBNER Group is dealing with increasingly difficult business conditions in Germany. And he also had the chance to find out what is involved in the manufacture of high-performance lasers.

“We are committed to Germany as a business location with Kassel as our headquarters. This is something that we have demonstrated over many years by supporting educational, cultural and social institutions in the region,” says company owner Reinhard Hübner. “In the long term, we can only maintain this commitment if the overall business conditions also make it possible.”


Increasingly unbalanced international competition

“Particularly when we make an international comparison, we observe that competition is increasingly unbalanced in various fields of business,” pointed out Managing Director Ingolf Cedra in the talks with Mayor Schoeller. “Bureaucratic requirements coming from regulations and documentation requirements are a significant factor that many of our market competitors with headquarters outside Europe don’t have to deal with to the same extent as we do here in Germany.” Added to this are energy prices, which are also higher in comparison to international levels. 

At HÜBNER’s Kassel location, the annual costs for documentation requirements due to stautory provisions such as the Supply Chain Duty of Care Act are now in the millions, as Ingolf Cedra showed with examples. At its headquarters, the HÜBNER Group is also trying to coordinate these requirements for its affiliated companies with the corresponding personnel outlays. 


Overwhelming regulations and documentation requirements

“Many of these statutory provisions are basically pursuing the right goals. But the regulations and documentation requirements that arise from these provisions are overwhelming, particularly for the smaller units in our corporate group,” explained Ingolf Cedra. This has the result that HÜBNER with its high degree of local value creation has to undertake ever greater efforts to remain competitive in its own home market. Increases in efficiency alone cannot compensate for this situation. And a further problem is a lack of specialists and a general worker shortage, which is exacerbated by false incentives created by the citizens’ income program in Germany.

Mayor Dr. Sven Schoeller showed understanding for this situation and promised support where possible: “Documentation requirements arise from regulations. If this results in unequal international competition, then we have to make adjustments and check which regulations are not really serving their intended purpose.” 


Strengthening local value creation in the tender process

The Mayor made it clear that he generally welcomes it if local companies are involved in local and regional contracts and thus the city and the region benefit directly from their added value. As the Mayor of the City of Kassel, it is very important to Dr. Schoeller that companies like the HÜBNER Group continue to possess the means to be involved in the region’s cultural and social institutions.


C-WAVE: A success story from Kassel

The HÜBNER Group is actively developing innovations in all its business divisions to consolidate and expand its position on the markets. A particular example of this strategy can be seen in the Photonics Division with its highly successful C-WAVE model. The high-performance laser is manufactured in Kassel and has now been delivered more than 100 times. 


“This tunable laser that we have developed covers an unusually large spectrum,” explained Dr. Korbinian Hens, Head of the Kassel C-WAVe team. Together with Dr. Sapida Akhundzada, Service & Application Engineer, he took Mayor Schoeller on a tour through the production. “With its capacity to change wavelengths from blue to red and into the near-infrared range without changing the laser medium, the C-WAVE is user-friendly and can be put to use for many different applications in research and life sciences activities.” Many large tech companies around the world rely on the C-WAVE for their applications. 


New dimensions in cancer diagnostics through laser technology

HÜBNER Photonics is also promoting technological development through its cooperations with start-ups, universities and scientific institutes. “In addition to holographic applications, we see particular potential in the life sciences sector. We are working together with partners to advance into new dimensions of cancer diagnostics with highly specialized laser technology for the benefit of cancer patients,” said Ingolf Cedra.