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Moscone center

SPIE PHOTONICS WEST at the Moscone convention center is one of the highlight of the international year of light 2015. Over 1200 companies are coming from all over the world to show off their skill and technology.  Check out : www.spie.org/pw for more info…

The PHOTONICS WEST is about Laser technology, optical fiber, lent and component and endless of different micromechanics controllers. Today’s use of Laser include high precision measurement, material cutting and marking, surgery, biotech analysis, localization and many more.

The convention attracted world leader and famous actors of the market as TRUMPF, Meyer Burger, SCHOTT (which also have a plant in Yverdon), but also small actors from all over US, Asia or Europa. Switzerland is also represented with company like Photon Focus launched in ETH Zurich and Stettler Saphhire AG from Lyss.

But in all this jungle of technology, what will a HEIG-VD student learn by fooling around in kilometers of salesman lining up and ready to scan your badge to automatically send you documentation via e-mail? Of course, I spotted a few potential suppliers for the next linear guide ways I’ll need to fit in my next project, took a few information about new technology I might use or get inspired of. The afternoon was too short and the mass of information too big for any engineer. The real learning of the day was more about how are the Swiss product and reputation perceived in the US.


First thing: if your compagny is swiss, or sell Swiss made product, you show it off! Even the bait to attract the customers is Swiss chocolate!

Second thing: if you’re not, pretend you are! …Alright, I’m may be exaggerating a little, but I will spot your attention on a corporate making mechanical micro-components named AMERICAN SWISS.

American Swiss

After having chatted a few minutes with the salesman, and checked in detail the company’s website, it appeared that the Swiss precision and the Swiss quality are the main selling arguments but there is actually nothing Swiss but the name, the cross on the logo and the Lindt chocolate on the table!      Check yourself on www.americanswiss.com !

But far from feeling frustrated by this usurpation, this experience is an excellent news for an engineer (or business student) considering finding a job in the San Francisco Bay J. A Swiss engineer degree, with a solid background in the Swiss precision industry seems to be a great business card over here. When explaining to an American supplier I’ll be working for Rolex next month, his face instantly changed from “you’re making shadow on my stall” to “Wow… please have my business card”!

Well, thanks for reading and hear from you soon!