B&W Tek, a mobile spectroscopy solutions company that delivers lab quality Raman, LIBS, UV-Vis and NIR solutions through user-friendly mobile platforms, is excited to celebrate 20 years of providing innovative solutions to a variety of different industries worldwide, including the pharmaceutical, biomedical, physical, chemical, safety, security and research communities.
As a vertically-integrated company with expertise in photonics, laser, spectrometer and chemometric technologies, B&W Tek is a leader in supplying components to system integrators, as well as customized solutions for targeted application needs.
B&W Tek was founded in Newark, Del. in 1997 by Dr. Sean Wang when he noticed unmet customer needs in the laser industry. Inspired by this disconnect, he set out to create a business with a primary focus in providing custom solutions in the medical, biophotonics, diagnosis and academic research industries with an emphasis on diode lasers and diode-pumped solid state (DPSS) lasers. In only five years, the company deployed 10,000 DPSS lasers worldwide.
In 2000, the company expanded to introduce their spectrometer division with Dr. Jack Zhou joining the team. Three years later, B&W Tek’s first portable Raman analyzer was manufactured, beginning a new chapter in the company’s history. Of their many accomplishments, one of the most notable involved the deployment of 10,000 Raman units by 2006, nearly doubling the total number of Raman spectrometers worldwide.
“When you think about B&W Tek, you think about innovation,” Dr. Wang said. “Innovation is embedded in our DNA if you look at our company history.”
From the very beginning, the business’s overarching goal has been to be a total solutions provider, offering the complete package of hardware, software, service, libraries and application development. This began with solid state lasers, then grew over the years to include Raman, UV/VIS, NIR and LIBS spectroscopy solutions, both off-the-shelf and customized, in addition to modules as key building blocks for system integrators.
“In the last few years, we noticed a clear trend emerging,” Dr. Wang said. “It’s called the Mobile Concept.”
According to Dr. Wang, the Mobile Concept refers to a demand for compact, portable technologies. Over the years, for example, the evolution of the computer has called for smaller sizes, from a desktop to a laptop to a smartphone. Dr. Wang drew the parallel of this trend’s applicability to the test measurement industry.
“The days of a central lab with expensive and bulky instrumentation is in the past,” he said. “Now, we’re developing instruments with a weight, battery-power and size that allows it to be easily carried into the field.”
This concept is demonstrated by the NanoRam and the TacticID, B&W Tek’s handheld Raman spectrometers used for material identification. These instruments have been sold into more than forty-five countries for quality control of pharmaceutical raw material identification at loading docks and for narcotics identification in the field.
Most recently, B&W Tek introduced the NanoLIBS handheld laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) analyzer, becoming one of the few companies to develop, engineer and commercialize a LIBS instrument. Since its unveiling, the NanoLIBS has won multiple awards, including the 2016 Excellence in Pharma: Analysis, Testing and Quality Control category of the CPhI Pharma Awards and a 2016 R&D 100 award in the Analytical and Test category.
Today, B&W Tek utilizes their own key building blocks consisting of spectrometers, light sources, sampling accessories and software capabilities to produce portable and handheld spectroscopy and laser instrumentation. The company is still headquartered in Delaware, with a newly renovated office in the Newark Industrial Park, and they’ve also expanded their reach overseas, including offices in Japan, China, Germany and Taiwan, as well as a network of about seventy distributors worldwide.
B&W Tek continues to succeed due to their commitment to innovation and their consistent ability to respond to emerging needs in applications by providing total solutions.
To learn more about B&W Tek’s history, click here to view a video timeline of our major milestones.