OPTICS INDUSTRY REPORT

Navitar (Rochester, NY), a manufacturer and distributor of precision optics and optomechanical assemblies for the machine-vision and digital-projection industries, acquired Special Optics (Wharton, NJ), a privately owned manufacturer of optical assemblies for long-range surveillance, laser-scanning, laser-projection, ultraviolet, visible, and infrared (IR) applications.

Apr 1st, 2008

Navitar acquires Special Optics

Navitar (Rochester, NY), a manufacturer and distributor of precision optics and optomechanical assemblies for the machine-vision and digital-projection industries, acquired Special Optics (Wharton, NJ), a privately owned manufacturer of optical assemblies for long-range surveillance, laser-scanning, laser-projection, ultraviolet, visible, and infrared (IR) applications.

According to Julian Goldstein and Jeremy Goldstein, copresidents of Navitar, the acquisition of Special Optics increases Navitar’s product offerings and complements its strong lens manufacturing capabilities and ability to bring those designs into volume production. The acquisition also combines Navitar’s volume production expertise and Special Optics’ rapid design and prototyping capabilities to increase its competitive advantage and technical offering to military contractors and commercial accounts seeking to outsource optics-based assemblies.

Optics portfolio expands to include IR

Schott North America (San Jose, CA) expanded its line of advanced optics to include IR materials, including both zinc sulfide (ZnS) and IR chalcogenide glasses. “Increasingly, our customers are developing optic devices that use both visible light and IR optics,” said Johannes Hain, executive vice president of the Business Unit Advanced Materials of Schott. “By adding IR material to our product portfolio, we will now be able to provide these customers with both the material and expertise they need to develop highly specialized optic systems with both visible light and IR capabilities.”

TEKES funds polymer optical materials

Braggone (Oulu, Finland), an optoelectronics materials company, received multi-million dollar funding from TEKES (The National Technology Agency of Finland) to commercialize its polymer materials that are used in digital displays and cameras, advanced semiconductors, photovoltaic panels, and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

Braggone’s proprietary material technology (part of an intellectual property portfolio of 17 filed patents, four of which have already been granted) allows for custom tuning of the inorganic-organic polymer material properties to suit specific applications. The flexible, stable materials coat or print onto substrates at greater efficiency, lower temperatures, and higher yields. The TEKES funding is specifically targeted for taking the materials from the lab to commercial sale.

Optometrics buys optical-filter product line

Dynasil of America (West Berlin, NJ) acquired an optical-filter product line from Precision Optics (POC; Gardner, MA) through its wholly owned subsidiary, Optometrics (Ayer, MA). The purchase includes the intellectual property, customer base, and equipment to produce a variety of high-performance optical filters that extend the market offerings of Optometrics. In addition to a $250,000 up-front cash payment, there is a royalty agreement on existing business for three years.

“Once we learned that POC had decided to focus on advanced optical systems for medical visualization, we were a natural steward for this unit since our Optometrics business is in their backyard,” said James Saltzman, Dynasil chairman. “The POC line will add long-life filters to our laminated interference-filter product set, enabling Optometrics to offer a broader range of filters to the spectroscopy, astronomical, medical, and laser markets as well as to adjacent markets that we do not currently serve,” said Laura Lunardo, COO of Optometrics.

For more business news visit www.optoelectronicsreport.com.

Also in the news . . .

The Merging Optics and Nanotechnologies (MONA; www.ist-mona.org) group, which is funded by the European Commission within its 6th Framework Programme, has released European Roadmap for Photonics and Nanotechnologies, which identifies key nanomaterials that will have the strongest impact on nanophotonics. . . . ZC&R Coatings for Optics (Torrance, CA) and Abrisa Industrial Glass (Santa Paula, CA) have joined together to produce display glass and liquid-crystal display (LCD) glass plates for a wide variety of applications. . . . With the recent investment of $5 million in packaging capabilities, the Infotonics Technology Center (Canandaigua, NY) has opened a state-of-the-art facility to offer design and packaging services to microelectromechanical-systems customers . . . . The board of directors of Corning (Corning, NY) approved a capital expenditure plan of $453 million to further expand its LCD glass-substrate manufacturing facility in Taichung, Taiwan.

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