A Swiss pioneer in small batteries

- EUROPEAN energy systems interview with Paul Wyser, Company Founder and Manager of Wyon AG

Den ganzen Artikel finden Sie im angefügten pdf

Energy efficiency is one of the predominant issues of the economy. The producers of batteries face two challenges at the same time. Batteries have to provide maximum energy density while being as small as possible. Exactly this is the speciality of Wyon AG, based in Appenzell Steinegg, Switzerland. The company is an innovation and technology leader in the development and production of small lithium ion batteries and the world-market leader in rechargeable batteries for hearing devices. Focusing on medical applications, Company Founder and Manager Paul Wyser aims to establish Wyon as a brand in the coming years.

“Currently, lithium ion batteries yield the highest energy density possible,” he explains. “Of course, this is a decisive factor for the size of a battery. The batteries can be charged and discharged at least 1,000 times before they sink below 80% of their original capacity. Also, lithium ion batteries have an extremely long life cycle, usually corresponding with the actual device.” When Paul Wyser founded Wyon

in 1999, he had two ideas. The first idea was to produce lithium ion batteries in different forms and shapes and to move away from the traditional cylindrical form.

“In those years, batteries used to be welded into cheap metal casings,” he remembers. “We started to use special synthetic materials to produce batteries with plastic casings.”

Innovation is the DNA

The second idea was to find a market for medical applications, for example hearing devices, in order to substitute one-way batteries. Until 2005, the company invested in the development of the product and established contacts with manufacturers of implants for hearing devices. “Usually, a battery is integrated into an additional casing,” says Mr. Wyser. “This means that you lose volume. We integrated the battery into the visible part of the hearing aid. This was a revolution in the market. In addition to this, we were able to deliver the complete assembly – an important

competitive advantage.” As innovation is the DNA of Wyon, the company is already working on several new developments. Implantable batteries for medical diagnostics, smaller batteries the size of a coin and a battery to reactivate your retina are some of the current projects. Wyon is acknowledged among OEMs worldwide. “We have always followed a clear strategy, we have an excellent network at our disposal, and we use state-of-the-art technologies. We even invested to achieve the quality necessary to serve the medical sector, which sets us apart from our competitors,”

Mr. Wyser explains the success of the company. “Our people are highly motivated and dedicated to our business.” He and his son Philipp, who has been active in the company from the very beginning, are determined to establish Wyon as a premium

brand in its market sector. “The trend towards ever smaller batteries will prevail,” says the Manager. “The energy density per cubic millimeter is increasing by 20 to 25%. In addition to this, miniaturization will become more important. This will be an important research field for us in the coming year. We will diversify our product portfolio but stay true to our original business approach, to produce extremely

small batteries with top performance. This strategy made us what we are today. We are a Swiss company and have to excel in technology.”