Mimotec SA was founded in November 1998 as a result of a thesis by its CEO Hubert Lorenz. Since it was created, the company has gained a good reputation in Switzerland and abroad as a leader in the fields of microtechnology and micromechanics. Based in Sion, it is one of the essential players in the Swiss watchmaking industry.
Mimotec SA specialises in the manufacture of microcomponents using the “LIGA” process (lithography, electroplating and moulding), with the difference that it uses an ultraviolet light source rather than X-rays.
The advantages of this method are that it is inexpensive and can be implemented quickly, which makes the process very competitive in comparison with traditional methods (electro-erosion, swaging). It also provides some interesting perspectives regarding the miniaturisation of components. The precision of parts manufactured by Mimotec SA is +/- 2 microns (i.e. two-thousandths of a millimetre).
Activities and products
Mimotec SA has built up an excellent reputation in the world of luxury watchmaking. It manufactures in particular miniature cogs and springs for watch mechanisms.
In partnership with its subsidiary Sigatec, the company offers the option of customising its miniature components (by means of the LIGA technologies in association with silicon engraving). Used mainly for decorative purposes, this technique may also be of interest in the identification of components to prevent counterfeiting.
Mimotec SA also benefits from interesting prospects in the micro moulding and plastic injection sectors. Numerous applications in this field require inserts with microcavities or microstructures that are difficult to produce using traditional methods. The LIGA technologies enable the limits of miniaturisation to be stretched. Nickel plates made using the LIGA process have a service life appropriate for the injection of millions of parts. There are also opportunities in the biomedical field.
More than 2,500 different articles are produced each year by Mimotec at its Sion site. Almost all of its turnover is generated outside Valais.
Support of The Ark Foundation
The Ark (via CimArk) has been involved in the Mimotec project since 1997. It has helped the company to define its strategy, its product lines and its partnerships, and contributed to the development of a business plan and to sourcing funds. Other innovative projects are also under way.