Optical Fabrication lies at the very heart of our operation and plays a vital role in maintaining our position as a world leader in the field of optics. Every operation, from grinding, polishing and coating through to testing, utilizes the most advanced technologies and processes. Training of our opticians is performed through a unique, four-year intensive apprenticeship program.
The Optical Assembly Group staff is highly trained in lens mounting centration and optical alignment. Proprietary centering equipment is used to guarantee accuracy on each individual lens element when it is mounted into its cell. The capabilities of this group also include:
- optoelectronic and optomechanical assembly
- precision lens assembly and
- the ability to perform fine mechanical alignment and assembly for complex instruments.
For high volume production, automated alignment and test benches are available. These become dedicated for specific projects and are capable of fully computerized operation.
Our optics manufacturing facilities provide precision:
- spherical optics
- aspherical optics
- plano optics
- mirrors and
- complex assemblies
from 1mm to 200 mm diameter lenses in clinically clean surroundings.
This department mills, grinds and polilshes all forms of spherical lenses. A unique capability, devised to meet a specific customer requirement, is Dome Scooping.
An asphere is a lens that is not part of a sphere or a cylinder. Rather than having one radius that is constant throughout the lens (a sphere), the asphere has many radii - aspheric lenses are traditionally difficult and time consuming to produce.
With the addition of Magnetorheological Finishing (MRF) capability among other proprietary processes, the production of aspheres is not only more predictable with a reduced lead time, but also more cost-effective.
The Plano department is a state-of-the-art facility that produces visible, UV and IR optical components that include mirrors, beamsplitters, prisms, wafers, windows and filters from a variety of different materials including quartz and fused silica in the visible spectrum, germanium and sapphire in the IR spectrum (more on IR optics) and various metals and ceramics from 3mm up to 450mm and as thin as 0.3mm with extremely tight tolerances. Manufacturing techniques range from automated production runs to meticulous hand finishing by master opticians.
Optical elements of various types of materials across the spectrum are bonded into doublets, triplets, reticle assemblies and prism assemblies in the cementing department. This is a complicated process requiring extreme manual dexterity, the careful formation of the bond with optical cement and finally the precise alignment of the optical centers, found using collimators, fixtures and an in-house, custom built air spindle.
Doublets and triplets reduce optical aberrations including chromatic aberration and spherical aberration.