The Lund based company Serstech is expected to have a bright future with the new product Serstech Arx.
During the year Optronic has been involved in the development and prototype phase of the handheld instrument, which is also serial manufactured in Skellefteå. Thanks to Raman spectroscopy, it can identify substances such as drugs, explosives and chemical warfare agents.
Customers are in police, civil protection, customs and armed forces all over the world.
The first model of the Serstech 100 Indicator was launched in 2016 and since then the development curve has been steadily upward and it has risen quickly– in the third quarter of 2020 Serstech became both profitable and generated positive cash flow.
“Sales are doing very well, last year we had over 100 percent growth in three out of four quarters. In the second quarter of the year, we were also hit hard when the world shut down due to the pandemic, but we quickly retook that in the third quarter. We work with a global market and have sold the most in Asia and now the US is heavily on the rise. The need to stop and identify drugs is increasing sharply and we are seeing not only huge growth there, but also on the explosives side,” says Stefan Sandor, CEO.
Now the sequel Serstech Arx is on its way to the market and the launch is thanks to the network of 80 retailers around the world that sell to the customer groups. Some of them are also aimed at pharmaceutical producers in China, India and Pakistan, which are another target group that has begun to grow.
“Optronic – a solid partner”
Optronic initially entered as a partner that understood industrialization and distribution. Over time, the collaboration has deepened, and in the new instrument Optronic has been involved in design-related challenges. The development department has had a close dialogue with Serstech about taking the instrument from prototype to finished product and on to serial production.
Today Serstech designs small, efficient spectrometers using optical systems, efficient filters and cost-effective detectors.
“The ability to produce optics with high precision is Optronic’s strength. Due to the wavelengths and optical construction that we use, extreme accuracy is required. They are part of the development and are independently responsible for production, calibration and testing. We achieve sales-ready products that are ready to ship, it is simply a solid partner in both production and logistics,” says Stefan.
“Another major advantage is that Optronic is located in Sweden and this means that we have a major competitive advantage because the product is fully developed and produced in Sweden, especially the security industry which appreciates the quality hallmark. Our competitors are in the US but have some parts or all of the production in China and that is not always as popular in all countries,” he says.
“Identifies 14,000 substances”
Serstech Arx is a hand-held instrument weighing 650 grams that sends out a laser beam into different types of samples, in powder, solid or liquid form – up to 14,000 different substances can be identified. The laser beam in turn causes the molecules in the sample to vibrate and the instrument then makes the analysis. Since the laser does not affect the sample in any way, it is especially useful for dangerous substances.
“It’s a small and cost-effective Raman spectrometer. We have the smallest and lightest on the market, which makes it user-friendly for police and emergency services on the ground. It is also very fast, extremely robust and easy to decontaminate. Even if it has been in contact with very dangerous chemicals, just throw it in a bucket of chemicals and then pick up a clean instrument,” says Stefan.
The fact that it is military-specific in robustness and enclosure-rated according to IP67 makes it suitable for all possible environments.
“Given the growth phase we are in, we need a safe partner who can grow with us. This allows us to scale up volumes without having to scale up staff at the same rate or expand into new premises. As we grow, Optronic solves it – everything just works and it’s a very comfortable and good feeling,” says Stefan.