News Briefs

July 15, 2007

Microelectronics processing deal: Electro Scientific Industries (ESI; Portland, OR), a provider of photonic microengineering solutions, has agreed to acquire New Wave Research (NWR; Fremont, CA) for $36 million net cash outlay, approximately one times NWR’s current annual revenue. NWR is a developer and manufacturer of laser-based systems and components, including sapphire wafer scribing and laser micromachining equipment. Nick Konidaris, president and CEO of ESI said, “ESI’s acquisition of NWR accelerates our mutual growth strategies by leveraging our combined core competencies into adjacent markets. NWR will give us entry into the sapphire wafer scribing market through their Accuscribe systems, as well as LCD repair with their Quicklaze suite of products.”

FTIR Web site: A2 Technologies (Danbury, CT), manufacturer of portable Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometers, launched its newly designed Web site at The new website provides quick and easy access to information on A2’s Mobility Series of FTIR spectrometers. Visitors can also find out more about the technology behind the instruments, discover the specific industry applications, and keep updated on corporate developments through the comprehensive news section. The site also describes A2’s ROAR software that allows spectrometer users to identify types of oil/lubricant samples being analyzed as well as assessing the results and comparing them with earlier analyses. ROAR is capable of tracking key oil indicators in real-time to address problems before they occur.

Software distribution: Optical Research Associates (ORA; Pasadena, CA), supplier of imaging and illumination design/analysis software, welcomes Light Tec of Hyères, France as its new software distribution and support partner in Europe. Light Tec has extensive experience in sales and support of optical design and illumination software, as well as expertise and products for scattering measurements, interferometry, and other optical technologies that are complementary with optical and illumination software. Effective immediately, Light Tec will offer LightTools and CODE V in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and Turkey. They will add France, Spain, Belgium, and French-speaking Switzerland on September 1, 2007.

More on Laser 2000: An industry note published by market analysis firm Needham & Co. (New York, NY) said that the theme of the Laser 2000 show in Munich, Germany was “Fiber Lasers Were Popping Up Like Mushrooms,” basically echoing the review from Laser Focus World’s John Wallace and Steve Anderson published in the July 1 issue of Optoelectronics Report. Needham and Co. cautioned that although fiber lasers have demonstrated their advantages over machine tools and other types of lasers, they were concerned that there are now too many vendors chasing the low end (100-200 W of power) of the market, which could put price pressure on fiber lasers and on traditional lasers as well: Only Rofin-Sinar demonstrated a kilowatt fiber laser in addition to IPG.

UV system company grows: PhotoMachining (Pelham, NH), manufacturer of custom ultraviolet (UV) laser micromachining tools that include on-line workstations, roll-to-roll feeders, and machine vision and robotics, has expanded its facility from 7000 to 11000 square feet and has added five more employees in the last few months bringing its employee total to 20. The expansion and headcount increase will allow it to keep up with demand for its UV laser systems and to improve its job-shop services-from R&D to high-volume production-that are performed in its Class 10,000 contract-manufacturing facility.

LED maker moves/expands: Luminus Devices moved its corporate headquarters to an expanded facility in Billerica, MA. The new headquarters will be used for housing its engineering, assembly, and test operations, as well as its corporate offices. The expanded manufacturing operations will help meet demand for Luminus’ PhlatLight LED products, and will accommodate its growing staff of scientists, engineers and manufacturing personnel. Luminus will initially use 45,000 square feet of this building and will retain its 30,000 square-foot semiconductor foundry in Woburn, MA. Luminus has created 175 local jobs over the last four years and new growth is expected to come from the company’s expansion into a variety of new applications, including backlights for LCD TV, video projectors, avionics displays, and LED- based lighting systems.

OLED research report: NanoMarkets (Glen Allen, VA) is publishing a report entitled “Emerging Markets for OLED and Printed Lighting” that looks at growing interest in new business opportunities that will be available as the result of OLED, phosphorescent, and (to a lesser extent) carbon nanotube lighting. NanoMarkets says that interest in this new form of illumination is being driven by a number of factors ranging from its low-power consumption to the fact that it can be built without any need for complex active matrix backplanes. While performance factors for OLED and printed lighting still need improvement, this type of product is expected to find applications in areas as diverse as architectural lighting, backlighting for LCD displays, signage, instrument panels, lighting for cars, toys, games, and even clothing.

New spectroscopy headquarters: Avantes, developer and manufacturer of instruments for fiber optic spectroscopy such as spectrometers, light sources, fiber optic cables & probes, and accessories, has officially opened its new headquarters in Eerbeek, The Netherlands. The former office building has turned into a new, dust-free, ESD-qualified production department with its 30 employees. The new 750 square-meter expansion will allow manufacture of such Avantes products as the AGE reader, designed to determine risk for cardiovascular diseases, as well as the Forest Fire Finder, a forest fire detector and tracking system developed in Portugal.

Laser rangefinder milestone: Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (Apopka, FL) Laser Systems business unit achieved a key milestone with the delivery of its 5,000th Mark VII hand-held laser rangefinder. The Mark VII is lightweight and compact and can be used day and night to determine accurate target location. It has been purchased by the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and Special Operations Command and is currently in active service in Iraq and Afghanistan. “This is a very significant event for the Mark VII program as the production numbers point out how just how essential this piece of equipment is to our warfighters,” said Gregory Williams, general manager of the company’s Laser Systems business unit. Northrop Grumman is a world leader in providing lasers to the U.S. military.

Expanded LED distribution: Enfis (Swansea, U.K.), a developer and manufacturer of smart, multi-watt plug-and-play LED light engines, announces multiple deals to expand both breadth and depth of its distribution and integration network in line with its declared sales strategy. Deals with Pacer International (U.K. and U.S.), Mobicon Group (Asia), and Roithner Lasertechnik (Europe; especially Austria and Germany) complement the existing network of global catalog suppliers such as RS Components, Farnell-in-One and Digi-Key, plus a number of specialist distributors worldwide. The deals have been agreed in time to support the launch of multiple new products scheduled for the second half of 2007 as well as to support current demand.

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