Thorlabs acquires OFR

NEWTON, NJ-On January 2, Thorlabs announced its acquisition of OFR (Caldwell, NJ), a combination that Amy Eskilson, business development manager at Thorlabs, described as “complementary.

Jan 15th, 2007

NEWTON, NJ-On January 2, Thorlabs announced its acquisition of OFR (Caldwell, NJ), a combination that Amy Eskilson, business development manager at Thorlabs, described as “complementary.”

“OFR will further solidify and extend our product line within important markets while also expanding our manufacturing base,” said Thorlabs president and founder Alex Cable. “We have experienced record growth in excess of 20% per year over the past few years, and we need to add manufacturing infrastructure as we grow our business. This is true of both organic growth and growth through acquisitions.”

OFR brings a broad array of products to Thorlabs that include both free-space and fiber-based optical isolators and circulators, objective lenses for laser machining and marking, and a set of optomechanical building blocks in the form of their “Fiber Bench” series that Cable described as “popular for prototyping optical systems using both a combination of fiber and free-space light fields.”

OFR’s products have also been adopted by a number of key market segments that Thorlabs has identified as critical to its future, including the core research markets as well as the rapidly growing high-power fiber laser and advanced imaging markets.

President and founder of OFR Donald Wilson also attested to the complementary nature of the union: “Thorlabs’ outstanding manufacturing capacity will significantly increase OFR’s ability to meet our OEM customers’ delivery requirements, something we critically need. At the same time, we will continue doing what we do best here at OFR, fiber-optic product and isolator innovation and product development, thereby adding to the expanding product lines of both companies.”

No immediate physical change is expected as a result of the acquisition according to Cable: “OFR will continue to operate as a stand alone company, with Don Wilson at the helm. I anticipate investing in future expansion of the business and hence would be looking to add staff in all areas of the business.”

“Our strategy of relying on internally controlled manufacturing resources has served us well in that we are positioned to control our cost and delivery times,” Cable continued. “Thorlabs is a big believer in lean manufacturing; in fact we have extended this to include ‘lean’ thinking in every aspect of our business. This is an unanticipated benefit that has been derived from our manufacturing-focused strategy. We see the resident OFR manufacturing capabilities as fitting squarely within this strategy.”

-Hassaun A. Jones-Bey

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