DITZINGEN / WALDKIRCH (dpa-AFX) - The mechanical engineering company Trumpf and the sensor manufacturer Sick are working together on the development of industrial quantum sensors and want to bring the first products to market in this high-tech area by 2022. Representatives from Sick and the Trumpf subsidiary Q.ant said they signed a cooperation agreement on Thursday. The aim is to make quantum technology - a very young branch of physics - usable for use in mechanical and plant engineering as well as in the electrical, pharmaceutical and automotive industries.

With the help of laser light, such sensors should be able to carry out measurements with an accuracy that has so far either not been technically possible or only possible with immense effort and huge devices. In addition, the new devices should also be able to determine the speed and direction of particles in detail. Trumpf and Sick want to build such sensors as "small, handy" industrial mass products - one of these sensors should then not be larger than a shoebox in the future.

Sick CEO Robert Bauer said at a digital press conference: "The quantum sensor will be able to measure particles that are a fifth of a micrometer in size. That is 200 times smaller than a human hair." Quantum technology is pushing technical boundaries. "Where previously no specific signals could be measured, additional details can be made perceptible using quantum effects from the signal noise."

Trumpf and Sick see themselves as global leaders in the development of industrial quantum sensors, even if there are competitors. Bauer said they wanted to approach the first pilot customers next year and subject the new devices to a reality check. The quantum sensor should then be ready for the market by 2022. "The competition will ultimately decide how robust and how market-oriented the product actually is." The companies did not provide any precise information on the planned price of such a sensor.

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