The white dome is a striking structure in the Edendorf innovation area. There are many rumors about what is happening under the dome, but it is "only" an antenna measuring station of Antenna Technology Center GmbH (ATC). The employees of the Itzehoer enterprise test the receipt quality of antennas in cars there. Because the test cars are often prototypes, i.e. pre-production models whose appearance is not yet to be made public, secrecy is part of the business. The company has now been sold to Desay SV Automotive, a specialist in antenna and vehicle electronics solutions headquartered in Weimar, Germany. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. "We are pleased to start a new chapter in our company's development with a strong partner," said Jan-Peter Busch, Managing Director and CEO of ATC: "The profound transformations in the automotive industry require extensive investments in order to be able to offer first-class measurements and services in the future. With Desay, we are securing the continued existence and future of our company."
The buyer also sees it that way. "We are very happy that the acquisition has worked out," says Desay Managing Director Dr. Michael Weber. He adds that the location in Itzehoe is not at risk, and ATC employees need not worry about their jobs. On the contrary, Weber promises: "We will cherish them forever. Expertise in this field is a rare commodity."
That's why Desay sees the purchase of ATC as more than just an investment in know-how. "We expect to be able to use it to mine skilled workers in the greater Hamburg area," Weber says. When it comes to recruiting, he says, he repeatedly finds "that the mobility of applicants is limited." Thuringia is not particularly attractive to skilled workers, he says, and home offices are not so easy to realize in the development field. Weber explains, "I can't set up a lab for everyone at home for 100000 euros." On the other hand, the company urgently needs young talent. "In perspective, we will double the number of employees," explains the managing director. Therefore, for him it is clear: "We have to go to the applicants."
Antennas are a very important component for vehicles. It has long been about much more than just good radio reception. Telephone, GPS, software updates - a multitude of different data must reach the cars. Telematics, or the merging of telecoms and IT, is the magic word in the industry. "All the way to autonomous driving," Weber explains. He is therefore CONVINCED: "The added value for antennas will increase in the future." Especially since networking is needed regardless of the type of drive -combustion engine or electric motor.
ATC's range of services includes testing and analysis of antenna systems as well as support in technical development. Customers are well-known automotive manufacturers, automotive suppliers and antenna manufacturers all over the world. ATC's strategic technology partners include the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Technical University of Ilmenau, RWTH Aachen, Keysight and Rohde & Schwarz. The company stands for top know-how in the field of high-frequency technology and is an industry-recognized authority for reliable antenna measurement.
Up to now, Desay has only been able to test the pure antenna, but not when it is installed in the car and has to cope with possible influences from electronics. ATC can do that. From research and development to high-precision measurement and production of antennas, Desay will in future cover the entire process chain from a single source. Automobile manufacturers will remain important customers of ATC in the future. One unknown, however, remains after the sale. Weber says, "Whether competitors will continue to contract ATC will be the big question." But that doesn't seem to be a major concern for him.