June 1, 2008
Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) entered into a definitive agreement to sell certain assets of Coherent’s Auburn Optics manufacturing operation to Research Electro-Optics (Boulder, CO), a privately held optics manufacturing and technology company.

Coherent to outsource Auburn optics operations

Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) entered into a definitive agreement to sell certain assets of Coherent’s Auburn Optics manufacturing operation to Research Electro-Optics (Boulder, CO), a privately held optics manufacturing and technology company. Consistent with the asset transaction, Coherent and REO have entered into a strategic supply agreement whereby REO will provide optical manufacturing capabilities for Coherent, including fabrication and coating of optical components. The transition of the optics manufacturing assets from Auburn to Boulder is expected to be completed no later than the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2009.

Funding grows Ti:sapphire crystal capabilities

Crystal Systems (CSI; Salem, MA) received funding in the amount of $250,000 for its Extreme Intensity Ti:sapphire Amplifier Crystals. The funding is provided by the French Institute De La Lumiere Extreme project. The funding will be used to scale up the heat-exchange process of crystal growth from its current size of 6 in. diameter to 8 in. diameter. “We have designed upgrades to our furnace that will allow us to control the crystal growth variables tighter than we ever thought possible,” said Kurt Schmid, COO. “These upgrades, along with our crystal growth IP, will allow us to produce 200-mm-diameter crystals.”

Edmund Optics extends global reach

To provide a global base of sales and customer support offices to grow revenue, Edmund Optics has established three global zones: Asia, Europe, and America. Each zone will have its own director of sales and director of marketing that will report to the vice president of global sales and vice president of global marketing, respectively. Edmund plans to open a sales office soon in Rome, Italy, and an additional sales office in France. To improve its manufacturing capabilities, it will continue to make capital investments in its U.S. and Asian operations, as well as adding manufacturing equipment to increase production. And finally, Edmund plans to grow its global custom optics business, which provides custom optics assemblies for a number of customers—especially for biomedical and defense-related applications.

Spectrophotometers see shipment milestone

Thermo Fisher Scientific (Wilmington, DE) announced that Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA) is the 15,000th purchaser of the Thermo Scientific NanoDrop 1000 UV/VIS spectrophotometer. The instrument will be used in a microbial source tracking project and enables scientists to quantify biomolecules with the minimal consumption of sample (1 μL). As assays are continually being developed using smaller amounts of material, this instrument can perform quality control steps that researchers would previously forgo due to the volumes required by traditional cuvette-based systems.

II-VI sees healthy semiconductor earnings

Semiconductor company II-VI (Saxonburg, PA) saw revenues for the quarter ended March 31, 2008 increase 25% to a record $80.9 million from $64.8 million in the third quarter of last fiscal year. “The Military and Materials and Compound Semiconductor Group segments recorded sizable bookings increases in both the quarter and fiscal year-to-date. As expected, Infrared Optics was a significant driver of segment bookings, revenues and earnings,” said Francis J. Kramer, II-VI president and CEO. “While we recognize that global economic challenges and uncertainties may persist during the next 15 months, we remain confident in II-VI’s ability to deliver on our growth objectives.”

For more business news visit www.optoelectronicsreport.com.

Also in the news . . .

Optical components and assemblies company Photonic Products Group (Northvale, NJ) reported that revenues for its fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007, were a record $15.1 million, up 8.5% from last year; in addition, the INRAD business unit of Photonic Products Group received a follow-on production contract for proprietary ultraviolet optical filter elements from Northrop Grumman’s Defensive Systems Division. . . . According to a new report from IC Insights, sales of optoelectronics, sensors/actuators, and discrete (O-S-D) components are now outpacing sales of integrated circuits in the semiconductor market; by 2012, total O-S-D sales are expected to exceed $66 billion compared to nearly $38 billion in 2007. . . . CVI Technical Optics (Onchan, Isle of Man), which manufactures and sells high-energy laser optics and etalons under the CVI Melles Griot brand, was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2008 in the International Trade category. . . . Agilent Technologies (Santa Clara, CA) completed its acquisition of TILL Photonics (Munich, Germany), a developer, manufacturer, and marketer of optical fluorescence microscopy products for the life sciences.

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