A new breed of manufacturers.
The precision optics industry is evolving
Labor-intensive, artisan-based techniques have long been the mainstay of many precision optics manufacturers. Although they often struggled with predictability, lead-times, costs, yield and process uncertainty, they were able to produce some pretty remarkable surfaces. Today, however, these companies are being asked to manufacture optics with higher levels of precision as well as optics with more difficult geometries in new and challenging materials, with shorter lead-times than ever before.
At the same time, they are facing increasing competition, as batch-sizes shrink and more companies are going after the same jobs. The old methods of manufacturing are not keeping up and are no longer sufficient to meet the needs of today’s precision optics markets. The industry is struggling to move beyond technology unchanged since the 1940s to allow them to meet tolerances, on time and on budget.
Elite100 members have deployed deterministic polishing and testing tools that have replaced artisan-based, labor-intensive techniques and machinery that were developed and remain primarily unchanged since the 1940s.
Please use the Elite100 directory to easily find the suppliers that can meet more of
your manufacturing criteria with greater reliability and confidence.
Value-added manufacturers move toward deterministic processes
A growing number of world-class manufacturers ranging in size from a dozen to hundreds of employees, with specialties that span a wide range of materials and geometries are recognizing a path forward. These suppliers have adopted computer-controlled, deterministic manufacturing processes that do not rely so heavily on the craft of the highly skilled artisan. Modern polishing and testing technologies lead to better reliability and consistency throughout the manufacturing process. This is vital for delivery high-accuracy, identical quality parts, where the first part was as easy to achieve as the last.
The metalworking industry saw the same type of transformation in 20th century. Over the past decade, leaders in the optics manufacturing industry started using advanced, computer-controlled systems to deliver similar advances in productivity.
The Elite100 is a new-breed of manufacturer
The members of the Elite100 are facing these challenges and evolving. They are replacing unpredictable fabrication methods and adopting deterministic manufacturing and metrology tools to help them meet increasingly difficult tolerances and higher precision levels. They are manufacturing optics better and faster than ever before.
Our members understand the needs of today’s optics market and are delighting their customers by meeting specifications and making deliveries of parts as scheduled. When you work with a member of the Elite100, you can buy your optics with confidence, knowing they will be delivered as promised, on-time and on-budget… every time.