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This is SYLVAC #9

35 years of innovation at Sylvac

Daniel Rawyler was one of the first engineers to join Sylvac in 1985.

35 years later, he is responsible for Research and Development in the electronics sector and is still passionate about the innovation of small instruments and the electronic part of Sylvac's measuring machines.

Since the end of his training at the age of 23, the engineer has been in the right place at the right time and feels lucky to be able to participate in the Sylvac adventure. "I've seen the company grow: there were 15 of us at Crissier and now there are nearly 130 at the two sites in Switzerland. I travel and meet users of the products I work on with my team, it's a great source of information and motivation. »

If Daniel Rawyler has been attached to the company for all these years, it is because the spirit of Sylvac suits him particularly well. "It's a creative, positive company that places a lot of importance on teamwork and where everyone is very open. Not to mention the satisfaction of seeing the results of our work distributed around the world. And since innovation is never-ending, we don't see the years go by," he adds.

But Daniel Rawyler prefers to talk about new technologies rather than his own career path. He remembers the major stages in the evolution of Sylvac instruments, setting the pace for his mission to "put more and more technology into the product by simplifying its use as much as possible. In other words, this requires a considerable effort on the part of the engineers, who "tend to make things complicated," he admits. "Fortunately, we talk a lot with the product managers who are in contact with customers. This way we achieve our goal of being able to use an instrument right out of the box, which is not the case with our competitors.

This is how the pioneers of connectivity and the champions of Bluetooth® measuring instruments first made the big shift from analog to digital by moving from analog to a digital display, first in hundredths of a mm and then in microns, allowing direct mm-Inch conversion.

At the same time, "low power consumption has always been a challenge with the first battery-powered instruments. »

The data transmission was also a major technological step, since the wired connectivity made it possible to go directly to the PC without the need for intermediate installation. "The traceability of measurements was now guaranteed, it was the most visible innovation, it opened the doors of the market to us," recalls Daniel Rawyler.

"When we think about the price of a measurement, we include the time we save users by limiting configurations and other installations. That's also where our goal of simplification comes in," explains the R&D manager.

These developments were then logically complemented by an advance in resolution. "With the help of miniaturization, our instruments had to measure more and more elements invisible to the naked eye," recalls the engineer. After the micron, the ''nanometer'' made its appearance in precision measurements with a resolution between 0.1 um to 0.01 um. These have also been considerably improved since the introduction of corrections at the time of calibration.

A true extension of the measurement, the Sylcom software then appeared not only to control the advanced functions of the instruments, to configure complex measurements but also to process the collected data.

The bi-directional communication between the software and the instrument was born.

Today the current research of Sylvac and its electronic R&D team is focused on the evolution of Bluetooth® technology towards a version 5.0 increasing autonomy and range. "Our instruments will be even simpler to integrate into the IOT world, and we will be able to add new advanced features. »

But Daniel Rawyler promises "the advanced menus will be there only for those who need them, the simplified functions will always be as easy to access". 

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