Optics Industry Report

Nov. 1, 2002
Optical Surfaces to provide prisms for SALT; Sputtering-targets market may hit $1.8 billion ;Ultratech Stepper makes AARP's 'Best for 2002'; MORE...

Optical Surfaces to provide prisms for SALT

The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) has chosen Optical Surfaces (Kenley, England) to supply the two high-precision prisms that make up the atmospheric dispersion compensator (ADC) for the South African Large Telescope (SALT). As part of an international consortium of astrophysics suppliers Optical Surfaces will work with the SAAO to build the single largest telescope in the southern hemisphere, with a hexagonal mirror array 11 m across. The purpose of SALT, due for completion in December 2004, will be to record light from distant stars, galaxies, and quasars a billion times too faint to be seen with the unaided eye.

Sputtering-targets market may hit $1.8 billion

According to a study from Business Communications Company (BCC; Norwalk, CT), $871.5 million worth of sputtering targets were consumed in 2001 to sputter-deposit 486.1 million square meters of thin films for flat-panel displays, magnetic and optical storage devices, wavelength-selective coatings on glass, and semiconductor chips. In each of these market segments, sputtering is expected to remain an important thin-film deposition technique, and BCC projects that worldwide production of sputtered films will increase at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 16.5% from 2001 to 2006, leading to a 2006 market in excess of 1.0 billion square meters of film. The market for sputtering targets will increase in value at a 15.4% AAGR during the forecast period, nearing $1.8 billion by 2006.

Ultratech Stepper makes AARP's 'Best for 2002'

Ultratech Stepper (San Jose, CA), has been recognized by the AARP (Washington, DC), with a "2002 Best Companies" award that distinguishes companies with innovative policies and exemplary practices for members of its workforce over age 50. Fifteen honorees were commended by AARP for policies and practices affecting employees over 50. "At a time of widespread reports of questionable corporate practices, these companies have shown a better side of business," said AARP President James Parkel, in announcing this year's best companies. Criteria for the awards include recruitment strategy for both former and retired employees, corporate culture (career development and training), continuing opportunities, compensation, benefits (including health insurance), and employee retirement planning.

Optimax Systemspartners with Photonic Solutions

Optimax Systems (Ontario, NY), has entered a partnership with Photonic Solutions (PSI; Rochester, NY) a provider of contract manufacturing of high-volume optics. Services provided by PSA include "redesign of prototypes for low-cost OEM manufacturing" and contract manufacturing of the OEM electro-optical. And the PSI staff specializes in automated assembly and test of optical systems for commercial products. Optimax expects the partnership to provide a transition route for customers from prototype manufacturing with Optimax to cost effective OEM production with PSI.

Ocean Optics and Mikropack exchange transatlantic distribution

Ocean Optics (Dunedin, FL), a manufacturer of miniature fiberoptic spectrometers, has entered an agreement with Mikropack (Ostfildern, Germany) to act as exclusive worldwide distributor of Mikropack products, which include fiberoptic and electro-mechanical components for biotechnology, spectroscopy, telecommunications, and thin-film applications and fiberoptic spectroscopy products that include light sources, sampling optics, and calibration standards. Ocean Optics will also remain a supplier of OEM spectroscopy components used in Mikropack's thin-film measurement and ellipsometry systems. Mikropack will distribute Ocean Optics miniature fiberoptic spectrometers and accessories in parts of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Ocean Optics (Duiven, The Netherlands), a wholly owned Dutch subsidiary of Ocean Optics, oversees distribution throughout all of Europe. The addition of nearly 100 Mikropack-brand spectroscopy accessories, will increase the Ocean Optics product line to more than 500 spectroscopy products ranging from absorbance standards to variable attenuators.

Also in the news . . .

Optical Coating (OCC; Natick, MA), a provider of thin-film optical coatings and components for visible through far-IR wavelengths, has established a new 13,600-sq-ft thin-film optical-coating and components manufacturing facility in Natick, MA. . . . Borden Chemical (Columbus, OH) a provider of industrial resins and adhesives, formaldehyde, UV-light curable coatings and other chemical products serving a broad range of markets including the forest products, construction, fiberoptics, oilfield, composites, electronics, automotive, and foundry industries, has entered into a new three-year, $175 million revolving credit facility with a group of nine banks.

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