World’s first industrial quantum sensors: Q.ANT gears up for live demonstration of quantum sensors

Sensor mea­su­re­ments harness quantum effects to faci­li­ta­te novel app­li­ca­ti­ons in the che­mi­cal, semi­con­duc­tor and mecha­ni­cal engi­nee­ring sec­tors // Quantum technology can be used to simul­ta­ne­ous­ly mea­su­re the size, shape and velo­ci­ty of microparticles

Stuttgart/Hannover, May 25, 2022 — Visi­tors to Han­no­ver Mes­se will be trea­ted to live demons­tra­ti­ons of the world’s first industrial-gra­de quantum sensors by Stutt­gart-based start-up Q.ANT, a whol­ly owned sub­si­dia­ry of high-tech com­pa­ny TRUMPF. The com­pa­ny will be show­ca­sing par­ti­cle sensors that are able to mea­su­re par­ti­cles in gases, liquids and pow­ders in ways that can­not be accom­plis­hed using cur­rent mea­su­ring technology. At the techno­logical heart of the­se sensors are quantum effects in exci­ted light. Gene­ra­ted in tar­ge­ted ways, the­se effects can be harnes­sed to ana­ly­ze the size, shape and velo­ci­ty of micro­par­ti­cles in one and the same mea­su­re­ment. In turn, the­se mea­su­re­ments make it pos­si­ble to acqui­re infor­ma­ti­on that will faci­li­ta­te new app­li­ca­ti­ons in the semi­con­duc­tor, che­mi­cal and mecha­ni­cal engi­nee­ring indus­tries. A num­ber of com­pa­nies from the­se sec­tors are alrea­dy put­ting Q.ANT quantum sensors to the test. At Han­no­ver Mes­se, Q.ANT will enab­le visi­tors to expe­ri­ence two industrial quantum-sensor app­li­ca­ti­ons in action for the very first time: 

Mea­su­ring cof­fee pow­der for a food com­pa­ny (Hall 2, Booth A22)

In col­la­bo­ra­ti­on with sensor spe­cia­list SICK, Q.ANT will be show­ca­sing a quantum sensor that food manu­fac­tu­rers can use to check the qua­li­ty of cof­fee. The sensor mea­su­res the size and shape of the grain, which is a key fac­tor in deter­mi­ning how each par­ti­cu­lar cof­fee will tas­te. In order to achie­ve the desi­red level of qua­li­ty, the quantum sensor allows cof­fee pro­du­cers to con­ti­nuous­ly moni­tor the grains during the industrial grin­ding pro­cess. Working tog­e­ther with a major food manu­fac­tu­rer, it has alrea­dy been pos­si­ble to make pow­der mea­su­re­ments. SICK now intends to dis­tri­bu­te the sensor world­wi­de, paving the way for other future app­li­ca­ti­ons in the food sec­tor, par­ti­cu­lar­ly in the pow­der pro­ces­sing industry. 

Mea­su­ring bio­mass in Festo’s algae reac­tor (Hall 6)

The con­trol and auto­ma­ti­on spe­cia­list Festo will also be show­ca­sing an app­li­ca­ti­on that uses the Q.ANT quantum sensor at Han­no­ver Mes­se. Festo uses the sensor to obtain pre­cise, real-time infor­ma­ti­on about the growth of orga­nisms insi­de the reac­tor. To pro­vi­de this infor­ma­ti­on, algae are con­vey­ed to the sensor auto­ma­ti­cal­ly and con­ti­nuous­ly through spe­cial micro­flui­dic com­pon­ents made by Festo, such as pumps that can hand­le extre­me­ly small quan­ti­ties of liquids with out­stan­ding pre­cisi­on. The quantum sensor is able to opti­cal­ly ana­ly­ze indi­vi­du­al cells in order to pre­cise­ly deter­mi­ne the amount of bio­mass. It also checks the cells’ vita­li­ty with the help of arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence. The quantum sensor makes it pos­si­ble to respond proac­tively to pro­cess events and take steps to regu­la­te them in order to pro­mo­te fas­ter algae growth. 

Algae have an extre­me­ly high pho­to­syn­the­tic effi­ci­en­cy in their natu­ral envi­ron­ment, bin­ding ten times more car­bon dioxi­de (CO2) than land plants. When algae are grown in bio­re­ac­tors equip­ped with appro­pria­te sensors, con­trol technology and auto­ma­ti­on, this effi­ci­en­cy can be incre­a­sed even fur­ther, reaching a hund­red­fold that of land plants. The sub­s­tan­ces crea­ted in this pro­cess can be used as raw mate­ri­als for phar­maceu­ti­cals, pack­a­ging and cos­me­tics and, ulti­mate­ly, recy­cled in ways that crea­te a cli­ma­te-neu­tral system. 

Q.ANT: a lea­der in the field of quantum com­pu­ter chips

Q.ANT is one of Germany’s lea­ding com­pa­nies in the field of quantum- technology-based industrial pro­ducts. Only a few mon­ths have pas­sed sin­ce the Stutt­gart-based start-up pre­sen­ted its novel pho­to­nic chip pro­cess. Wit­hin the space of the next few years, this new pro­cess will allow today’s estab­lis­hed elec­tro­nic main­frame com­pu­ters to be equip­ped with cut­ting-edge quantum- technology pro­ces­sors. In March 2022, Q.ANT took the helm of a con­sor­ti­um that has the task of buil­ding a demons­tra­ti­on and test system for pho­to­nic quantum-com­pu­ter chips. The con­sor­ti­um has an initi­al bud­get of 50 mil­li­on euros, some 42 mil­li­on euros of which will come from the Ger­man Federal Minis­try of Edu­ca­ti­on and Rese­arch (BMBF).


TRUMPF is a high-tech com­pa­ny offe­ring manu­fac­tu­ring solu­ti­ons in the fiel­ds of machi­ne tools and laser technology. The Com­pa­ny dri­ves digi­tal con­nec­ti­vi­ty in the manu­fac­tu­ring through con­sul­ting, plat­form pro­ducts and soft­ware. TRUMPF is a technology and mar­ket lea­der in high­ly ver­sa­ti­le machi­ne tools for sheet metal pro­ces­sing and in the field of industrial lasers. In 2020/21, the com­pa­ny employ­ed some 14,800 peop­le and gene­ra­ted sales of about 3.5 bil­li­on euros. With over 80 sub­si­dia­ries, the TRUMPF Group is repre­sen­ted in near­ly every Euro­pean coun­try as well as in North Ame­ri­ca, South Ame­ri­ca and Asia. The com­pa­ny has pro­duc­tion faci­li­ties in Ger­ma­ny, Fran­ce, the United King­dom, Ita­ly, Aus­tria, Switz­er­land, Poland, the Czech Repu­blic, the United Sta­tes, Mexi­co and China. 
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About Q.ANT

Foun­ded in 2018, Q.ANT is a high-tech start­up and part of the TRUMPF Group. Q.ANT’s visi­on is to impro­ve the qua­li­ty of how machi­nes ana­ly­ze their envi­ron­ment, how humans pro­cess infor­ma­ti­on, and how we think. To achie­ve this goal, Q.ANT deve­lo­ps quantum sensors and quantum com­pu­ting chips based on its Quantum Pho­to­nic Framework.